Belarus Has Most Regulated Trade Among European Countries

Belarus topped the ranking of European countries with the biggest number of regulations in the trade sphere, RBK business newspaper reports

Belarus is followed by Russia and Italy when it comes to tough policies in retail, a study by consulting company Civitta has found.

trade belarus

“Our study shows that the retail sector in Belarus is the most regulated compared to not only the neighboring countries but also to the EU countries with the toughest retail policies,” representatives of Civitta have commented on the results of the research.

The study points out rigid legislation regarding the opening of stores and operating activities of retailers in Belarus. It also links rigid legislation and high prices.

“This link is important for the developing economies, where households spend a considerable share of income on food. Belarus could follow the experience of European countries. Most of them have liberalized regulations for retail, which positively impacts the prices and employment.”

The countries with the “softest” legislation for retailers are Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

How laws regulate retail in Belarus

Belarusian laws require the biggest number of permits to open a shop – five, as compared to one in Spain, Moldova, Germany, and Latvia.

To open a shop in Belarus a retailer has to apply to three different governmental agencies. This is the same as in Poland or Italy, but more than in Latvia or Germany.

In Belarus, is also take the longest to open a shop. In Latvia, the process is the fastest in Europe – only 15 days.

Softer regulations in retail could positively affect the prices, analysts say. Rigid regulation means additional risks of price rises, which may be critical for households with expenditure patterns dominated by food expenses.

Namely, the share of food expenses for Russian households is 37%, for Belarus — 39%, and 49% for Ukraine 49%.