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Small business in Belarus wants to risk without risks, Deputy Trade Minister says

Deputy Minister of Commerce of the Republic of Belarus Irina Narkevich has given an interview to the TV program Week on the CTV.

In view of the recent conflict between self-employed businessmen and the government on the certification issue, what are the results of the talks?

Irina Narkevich:
We are now in the middle of de-bureaucratization of processes in the economy. We are working on a clear mechanism to make sure everyone knows what documents one must have for goods, be it in commercial facilities or in shopping areas .

That is, certificates will remain, but it will be easier?

Irina Narkevich:
You know, nothing has changed. We do not cancel any decree No222. Nor the certification procedure itself. But we simplify and minimize risks. For example, processes are simplified. If we talk about the accompanying documents then, for example, you know that some entrepreneurs can have three places on the market or three outlets in a mall.

Most often this is exactly what happens.

Irina Narkevich:
He has the right to have three salaried workers. Now, under the law, the accompanying documents must be in all three places. What for? Therefore, we are simplifying these things. We are not saying that there should be no documents at all. We say that we simplify. And we say that these documents must be in one place.

And as far as I understand Belarus is a pioneer in this sense in the Eurasian Economic Union. Do I understand correctly?

Irina Narkevich:
I would like to say that every country has its own national legislation. If we talk about the accompanying documents, then every country has its own characteristics. But we are perhaps the first among EEU countries who so carefully began to fulfill the laws.  And here, once again I want to emphasize it, working groups are very important. We are considering law enforcement practice in the framework of the Republic of Belarus, but taking into account EEU approaches.

Our businesses have got used to carrying lots of risks.  How can the state help to minimize these risks?

Irina Narkevich:
You know already it is time for individual entrepreneurs to remove these risks. What they now need to do is to just get goods from some respectable company, with all supporting documents, certificates. But in order to be able to compete in price terms and get a higher margin they go to Moscow and buy goods illegally. Small businesses want to risk without taking risks - this is also wrong. But the state should work to help businesses minimize the risks. This is true.

I think now the format of the 1990s, when I went to the market and realized that I would be deceived in any case, that time has passed.

Irina Narkevich:
You know, it has passed. Perhaps something is still left but not on that scale. Within the EEU, we have moved to a new track. This means to safely trade in goods for the benefit of the people. This is the same route that the European community took. They also protect their own manufacturers. 

Irina, you are a professional buyer.

Irina Narkevich:
I suppose so.

Are you recognized in the market? After all, you will hardly buy goods without a certificate.

Irina Narkevich:
You know, I do not ask certificates. I communicate with the seller. I love professional sellers who know goods they sell and they always have something to advise you. But I myself can determine the model and other parameters.   I am a professional customer, yes.

I dare to believe that more Belarusians will become aware of what they buy.

Irina Narkevich:
For us it is a very good thing because over this time, there has really grown an army of professional consumers...

An entire generation...

Irina Narkevich:
You might say a generation. Of course, the consumer has changed. He knows, he knows, reads, understands, chooses and buys what he needs. And it is good and right. But the professional seller should help people anyway.

Small business in Belarus wants to risk without risks, Deputy Trade Minister says