Belarus moves down one spot in Doing Business rankings

Belarus moved to 38th of 190 countries in the World Bank's 2018 Doing Business rankings, down from the 37th rank the previous year.

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Speaking to reporters in Minsk on Tuesday, World Bank expert Valentina Saltane linked Belarus' slight fall down the rankings to more active reforms by some countries that had ranked below Belarus in the previous study.

According to the study, the country carried out only one reform over the past year, compared with six reforms in 2009, five reforms in 2010, four reforms in 2011 and three reforms in 2012, said Ms. Saltane.

Belarus is ranked high in areas such as registering property, dealing with construction permits and enforcing contracts, and relatively low on paying taxes (96th rank), resolving insolvency (68th rank) and getting credit (90th rank), said the expert.

Asked whether Belarus was likely to enter the top 30 in the rankings in the future, a task set by the government a few years ago, Ms. Saltane said that it would depend on the pace of its reforms.

"We know that 20 other countries also want to enter the top 30… so the competition is fairly high," she said. "We see that the countries that have managed to achieve that have been carrying out quite active reforms for many years."

Ms. Saltane suggested that Belarus conduct more reforms in areas where it was ranked outside the top 30. In particular, she said, Belarus should take steps to reduce the tax burden on businesses.