Updated at 02:23,01-10-2020

Trade ministry denies non-food products market collapse in Belarus


The Belarus Ministry of Trade denies a collapse in the country's non-food products market. This was recently announced by the Perspective, a national public association of self-employed small-size entrepreneurs, reporting on the 90% of shopping centers and markets stopping their operations on January 1st. The reason for the halt is "negligent officials who did not give due attention to the situation and ignored numerous proposals of the business community."

First Deputy Trade Minister Artur Karpovich said in a commentary to Belta that many businesses are still "on the New Year and Christmas holidays." Therefore, it is yet impossible to say what percentage of SPs did not come to work. According to him, "talks about some kind of collapse in the market of non-food products make no sense." It looks more like fuleing tensions, said Karpovich. He believes that part of the entrepreneurs managed to readjust to operating under the new rules. Only a part of them expected the change in the situation, now they may have problems.

First Deputy Minister argues that the needs of the population in the light industry goods are met in full.

Since the beginning of 2016, in Belarus has operated a presidential decree #222 "On Regulation of Business and the Sale of Goods by Individual Entrepreneurs and Other Individuals." SPs are to sell products of light industry, imported from the countries of the Customs Union, only with the accompanying documents. They argue, however, that Russian suppliers, selling goods to most Belarusian entrepreneurs, usually refuse to issue documents on the origin of the products or provide bogus certificates. As a result, SPs get fines, have their goods seized. Repeated requests by SPs for the authorities to cancel the decree were not met.

Trade ministry denies non-food products market collapse in Belarus