Belarus develops cooperation with Asia
The Belarusian government is studying opportunities for Belarusian issuers on Asian stock exchanges. Belarus and China plan to expand investment cooperation in agriculture. China’s Eximbank will issue a USD 343.9 million loan for the reconstruction of Minsk – Gomel road M-5 / E 271 (Bobruisk – Zhlobin section).
Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich, speaking at Russian-Belarusian-Kazakh Business Forum, referring to the economic problems in Europe invited the Customs Union countries to shift the focus on trade and economic cooperation with Asia (including ASEAN).
In the meanwhile, during the official visit to Indonesia and Laos on June 11-14, Belarus’ Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov, met with Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, with Laos President Choummaly Sayasone, Prime Minister of Laos Thongsing Thammavong, Indonesian and Laotian foreign, trade, industry, transport, defense, research and technology ministers, with the leadership of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and business communities of both countries.
In turn, the Acting Minister of Agriculture and Foodstuffs of Belarus Leonid Marinich and Chinese Deputy Minister of Agriculture Niu Dun on June 13 discussed enhancement of investment cooperation in the agriculture.
In addition, China continues to increase lending cooperation with Belarus. Thus, Chinese Eximbank will allocate a USD 343.9 million loan for the reconstruction of Minsk – Gomel road M-5 / E 271 (Bobruisk – Zhlobin section). In November 2011 Eximbank issued a USD 340 million consumer loan for the reconstruction of Zhlobin – Gomel section.
Finally, the Belarusian Finance Ministry and Korea Stock Exchange (KRX) on June 12 signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Chairman of the Korea Stock Exchange Kim Bongsoo said that bilateral cooperation will allow sharing Korean stock market experience with Belarus and will create conditions for Belarusian issuers to enter the South Korean financial market.
For reference. In March 2012 the South Korean stock market capitalization reached USD 1.1 trillion. KRX is ranked 9th in the world in terms of listed companies.
Therefore, today Belarus’ foreign policy and trade gradually expand eastwards in order to diversify country’s foreign trade and foreign investment flows against the background of the European and U.S. sanctions.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.