International business in Belarus: regional overview
International capital and European in particular do not impact significantly on the functioning of the Belarusian economy.
Foreign capital is concentrated primarily in the banking sector, where the share of foreign capital exceeds 50%. The share of foreign capital (Turkish and Middle Eastern) is significant in the hotel industry.
European business is represented in Belarus by several companies; namely, Raiffeisen Bank (Austria) owns “Priorbank” in Belarus, Telekom Austria Group owns mobile operator Velcom, Heineken NV owns breweries “Rechitsapivo” and “Syabar”, Carlsberg Group, owns “Olivaria Brewery”, ATEC Holding (Austria) owns glass making.
Belarus is not a friendly country for international business and in case of foreign policy conflicts the government could make business environment for foreigners even tougher.
Sometimes lobbyists manage to benefit from the political conflicts and push for decisions in their favour, for example, some time ago the Belarusian State University managed to force the eviction of a MacDonald’s restaurant from the Privokzalnaya Square in Minsk, which looked from the outside as retaliation to “American agents”. Therefore it should not be ruled out that international business might face problems in the regions.