In November 1992 the Republic of Belarus became the first CIS state that signed the necessary agreements and became a member of the World Bank and its institutions, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC). After that the full-fledged cooperation began between Belarus and these powerful and reputable international intergovernmental organizations.
As a result of the stable partnership with the IFC Belarus had the possibility to use its potential for a timely and successful transition towards the market economy. In 1993, upon the invitation of the Belarusian government, the IFC offered Belarus advisory programs, which had a favorable influence on the development of private sector and contributed to the positive changes in the business climate.
With the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) the IFC launched a program aimed at the improvement of business environment for small and medium sized enterprises in Belarus. As a result of cooperation of the IFC with the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus the notification-based system of business entities registration was introduced. The time for registering a business reduced greatly — from 30 days to just one, and the number of required documents reduced from 6 to 3. In the course of the program the obligatory notary certification requirement, as well as the minimum authorized fund requirement were abandoned.
The pilot project on the simplification of technical inspections of businesses was started in the Mogilev region within the framework of the IFC program. Following that a national policy aimed at the reduction of administrative barriers to small and medium businesses was introduced. Another direction of the program was the improvement of entrepreneurs’ access to the information resources.
Since 2004 the relationship between the IFC and Belarus has moved to the new quality level. The organization started the investment activity in the country, strengthening its efforts every year. At present, IFC has invested more than $316 million in the national economy, including projects in the financial, general manufacturing, agribusiness, and services sectors.
The present IFC program for the years 2010-2013 ”Regulatory Simplification and Investment Generation Program“ is funded by Sida. The program has three main objectives:
1) improving the business and investment climate, particularly regulatory simplification related to business operations;
2) increasing Belarus’s overall performance and deepening reforms in Doing Business related topics; and
3) building government capacity for investment generation.
To provide the objective information on the business environment, the Corporation continues working with major ministries, conducts surveys and prepares analytical reports. The project presents the survey findings to the government and provides recommendations for improvement of business regulations.
The Republic of Belarus is committed to further develop cooperation with the IFC based on the national interests. Belarus considers cooperation with international financial institutions as the essential element for the faster reformation of the national economy and its successful integration to the world economy.
The Ministry of Economy of Belarus is assigned the lead organ for cooperation with IFC by the resolution of the Council of Ministers on October 30, 2002 ¹ 1504 ”On cooperation of Belarus with international organizations“.