Belarusian enterprises need more competitiveness, government says

Belarusian enterprises need more competitiveness, government says

A program to develop competition in Belarus should be prepared in 2018. This task was put by the government before the Trade Ministry (MART) of the country on February 14.

Employees of MART have to analyze legislative norms that limit the development of competition and develop road maps aiming to increase competitiveness of enterprises for each specific industry.

Vladimir Koltovich, Minister of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade:
In 2018, the law "On Counteracting Monopolistic Activities and Promoting Competition" was passed. This is the basic law for our ministry. For the first time such institutions of soft law as warning and caution were introduced. This will also promote the development of antitrust practices, and on the other hand will not severely affect the activities of enterprises.

In 2017, the Ministry received 314 applications about violations of antimonopoly legislation. Most often violations are revealed in transportation, use of trademarks and housing and communal services.

Belarusian enterprises must learn to compete, says First Deputy Prime Minister Vasily Matyushevsky at the meeting of the Trade Ministry board.

According to him, this issue is very acute. He offered enterprises to learn to compete, "and not to use the administrative resource of ministries or executive committees." The presence of barriers, including administrative ones, affects the final price for the consumer and creates additional inflationary pressure. 

"Local and departmental protectionism, directive restriction of competition, adoption of incorrect decisions by state bodies should be eradicated, and, preferably, as soon as possible," the First Deputy Prime Minister added.

At the same time Matyushevsky said that the interests of national security can stand above competition. "This is normal when there is no competition on certain strategic state markets or when it is artificially limited," the official suggested. But this issue requires a deeper study.

Mr. Matyushevsky believes that with market pricing, it is necessary to build a transparent mechanism for working with monopolists and organizations that occupy a dominant position in the market. He asked the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade to formulate clear, scientifically sound methods for the formation of prices and tariffs.

In Matyushevsky's opinion, the matter of increasing the effectiveness of public procurement deserves special attention. According to statistics, more than 70% of state purchases come from one source, that is, not on a competitive basis. "From our point of view, this is unacceptable ," the Deputy Prime Minister stressed.