The In-depth Report on the Investment Climate and Market Structure of the Republic of Belarus was developed in early 2007 and peer-reviewed by the Investment Group of the Energy Charter in May and June 2007.
Among other features of the energy sector and the economy at large, it is noted that Belarus still maintains features of a planned economy, with the government controlling key factors of production and the decisions of economic agents. The tax burden is relatively high and government revenue is distributed to support certain companies and employment, as well as social programmes. The intention was welcomed to gradually reduce direct government participation in the energy sector and strengthen the use and the scope of market-based approaches, thus boosting investor confidence by moving to a legal and regulatory basis more suitable for a competitive market structure in the energy sector.
Also noted is the importance of Belarus in bridging supply from the east and consumption in the west in the energy sector, and in this respect the role of the country as an energy corridor and a trading partner between the energy-rich countries and the markets is highlighted.
The projects already in service and the ones that are currently being developed are reviewed, noting the importance of greater transparency and non-discrimination in such projects.
In December 2007, the conclusions of the Review and policy recommendations to the Government of Belarus were adopted by the Energy Charter Conference. These conclusions and recommendations, as well as the main findings of the Energy Charter Secretariat related to the Report, are included in a single publication along with the Report itself.
While the Secretariat produced the first draft of the Report, it was finalised by the Belarus authorities and the text of the Report in the publication conforms to the version prepared by the Belarus authorities.