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SECTOR SPOTLIGHT:

Doing Business In Belarus & Bosnia & Herzegovina

DOING BUSINESS — In Belarus

Belarus managed growth of 5.3% in 2011 and attracted $19 billion of foreign investment which is twice as much than in the previous year. Industrial production went up by 9.1% and Exports of goods and services surged by 57.9% Belarus has a favourable position in Europe, linking the European Union to Russia and the Commonwealth of independent States. Over the past decade Belarus has made impressive progress and Improvements to the investment climate have made the country a serious emerging market. The country has won the trust of the international business community and improved economic relations with many countries. That said, there is currently a high degree of uncertainty due to the struggling global economy. Belarus is vulnerable to external economic influences from Russia and the crisis affecting Europe. Export growth is particularly at risk as many of the regions trade partners are expecting a fall in demand. Due to high growth at the start of the year growth is forecasted to reach 3% for 2012. Good export growth was witnessed at the start of 2012 however a downturn is expected which could be very damaging. The Law Company “Stepanovski, Papakul and partners” renders a full range of legal services both to national and foreign companies, on various stages of their business activities, including project setup, company registration, operational support and protection of their rights on the territory of the Republic

of Belarus. Practice areas we work in: banking, knowhow, IT/ TMP, design and construction, FMCG production, distribution & marketing, advertising, telecommunication, sports, insurance. Acquisition International speaks to Maxim Shapelevich, partner at Stepanovski, Papakul and partners. The contemporary economical development of Belarus is interconnected with establishing of the Common Free Market Zone of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia on 01/01/2012. Such kind of integration supposes the creation of universal conditions for doing business in all three countries. It is based on a free movement of goods, capital, services, and people. The Common Free Market Zone opens Russian and Kazakh markets for the Belarusian goods and services. But at the same time the Belarusian Market is opened for Russian and Kazakh goods and services. The largest danger for the Belarusian Market corresponds to the Russian enterprises. Russian goods and services are more competitive in comparison with Belarusian ones. Belarus exports in Russia machines, provisions (particularly milk and meat products), mineral fertilizers, and other goods. Backwards fuel and energy resources, machines, equipment, black and color metals are imported in Belarus. The trade with Russia composed 39% in 2011 from the whole Belarusian international trade balance. Netherlands (11%) and Ukraine (10,2%) stand on the second and third ranks in Belarusian international trade balance.

As long as the value of trade with European Union countries is about 28% of the Belarusian international trade balance, the Euro Debt Crisis of 2011 hasn’t affected it directly. But the export in European Union countries increased twice in 2011 in comparison with 2010. If the export volume rise keeps its force in the current year the dependence of Belarusian economy from Euro will intensify. The Belarusian government made several steps to create an attractive investing environment in the country. First of all, some tax and custom privileges for investors were established. But in practice the state controls the most interesting branches of economical activities. Frequently these branches are closed for a private capital.

Company: Stepanovski, Papakul and partners Name: Maxim Shapelevich Email: m.shapelevich@spplaw.by Web: http://spplaw.by/ Address: 16 Kuibyshev Street, 4th Floor, Minsk, Belarus Telephone: +375 17 2094483

DOING BUSINESS — In Bosnia & Herzegovina

After several years of strong economic growth, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s economic performance has deteriorated, in part due to the global economic slowdown. The economic crisis in Europe could see economic growth in Bosnia slide from a previously predicted 3.0% to 0.7% in 2012 according to the international monetary fund. The delayed formation of a central government for more than a year has hindered European integration, stopping the flow of EU funds and has led to a collapse in foreign investment. Political instability has impacted on economic policymaking and the drafting of the budget for 2012 and a fiscal framework for 2012-14 has suffered. Improving the business environment needs to be at the top of policy makers agendas.  

ACQUISITION INTERNATIONAL

In 2011 exports from Bosnia rose by 15.9% however imports also increased by 14%, this equated to a trade deficit of 3.7 billion euros. These markets are likely to change dramatically over the next few years with weaker European demand. This is a strong prospect for growth of the domestic market to balance the deficit. The World Tourism Organisation expects Bosnia and Herzegovina to be third in the world in terms of tourism growth rate between 1995 and 2020 which is likely to bring investment to the region. Unemployment is rising and has hit a 4 year high according to data published by the National Statistics Bureau.

Attracting foreign investment is crucial to offset the shortfall in exports, strengthen the domestic market, tackle the increasing unemployment and restore growth to the region.

May 2012 /

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Maxim shapelevich doing business  

Maxim shapelevich doing business

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