Small business leader skeptical on government's liberalization promises


The Belarusian government will not take drastic steps toward economic liberalization this year, small business leader Syarhey Balykin said in an interview with BelaPAN.

The leader of the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses said that government officials would continue their rhetoric about economic liberalization.

"I am certain that more opportunities for communication between the government and businesses will be created, but I don't think that a drastic breakthrough will be made. For businesses 2010 will become a year of some local victories - possibly, in the sphere of pricing, wages," Mr. Balykin predicted.

The expert welcomed the government's move to abolish several taxes and streamline expenses requirements for private businesses.

He expressed concern over this year's increase in the rate of value-added tax from 18 to 20 percent, noting that the measure could hit manufacturers hardest.