The modern period of development of the world economy is characterized by further expansion and deepening of foreign economic relations. Through foreign economic relations, an international division of labor is carried out, the purpose of which is to save social labor in the process of production and exchange its results between different countries.
Foreign economic relations – trade, scientific, technical, industrial and other economic ties of countries with foreign countries.
Foreign economic relations are international economic and trade-political relations, the sphere of which includes the exchange of goods, specialization and cooperation of production, scientific and technical cooperation, the provision of economic and technical assistance, the creation of joint ventures and other forms of economic cooperation.
One of the main features of the current stage of economic development is the extremely rapid growth of international trade in scientific and technical knowledge, the results of industrial and technical cooperation, as well as the rapid growth of trade in services, such as leasing (leasing), international tourism, engineering and consulting, information services, etc.
Foreign economic activity is the practical implementation by economic entities of one state of economic relations with economic entities of other states.
The sphere of foreign economic activity is determined by foreign economic policy. Foreign economic policy is the policy of the state that regulates all forms of foreign economic relations, determines the regime for their implementation, including the export and import of goods, services, capital, labor, currency movements, etc. Conducting foreign economic policy, the state is called, firstly, to create for its entrepreneurs the most favorable conditions in the domestic market, for which it is necessary to restrain the inflow of foreign goods; Secondly, the state should contribute to the expansion of the foreign economic positions of its entrepreneurs through various measures, stimulate the export of goods of national production. The main means of implementing foreign economic policy are the customs system and non-tariff barriers, regulation of the movement of currency and the exchange rate, emigration and immigration of labor, securities trading, etc.
In the context of the internationalization of economic life, when the economies of individual countries are increasingly drawn into the international economic system, the role and goals of national foreign economic regulation are changing. The task of protecting the domestic market and pursuing a policy of protectionism is not brought to the fore. On the contrary, there is a tendency to liberalize foreign trade and capital flows, restrictions are lifted, and free reversibility of the national currency is introduced. The most important task of the national regulatory mechanism is to increase the international competitiveness of domestic entrepreneurs. The competitiveness of the goods of even the largest companies on the world market depends not only on the technical level and organization of production at their enterprises, but also on the national level of wages, the taxation system, the state of infrastructure, the level of education of workers, the availability of scientific and technical potential, etc.
The foreign economic policy of the Republic of Belarus is based on such principles as the openness of the economy, the desire for large-scale and multi-vector cooperation, and the achievement of a balanced economy. It is due to the specifics of the republic as a small country, which also does not have sufficient own fuel, energy and raw materials resources.
Foreign economic activity is implemented both at the level of state authorities and management, and at the level of economic organizations, individual business entities (enterprises, firms, etc.).
In the first case, foreign economic activity is aimed at establishing interstate foundations for cooperation, creating legal and trade-political mechanisms that stimulate the development and increase in the efficiency of economic ties. In the second case, foreign economic activity is manifested in the conclusion and execution of various civil law contracts.
Foreign economic activity in Belarus is regulated by a number of laws, among which the Law “On the Fundamentals of Foreign Economic Activity of the Republic of Belarus”, adopted by the Supreme Soviet on October 25, 1990 and put into force on January 1, 1991, is of great importance.
The scope of this Law includes all types of foreign economic activity, including foreign trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation. The Law applies to specialization and cooperation in the field of production, science and technology, construction and reconstruction of facilities. Implementation of transport, forwarding, insurance operations, settlement, credit and other banking operations, tourism and other activities in the field of international exchange of goods, services and results of intellectual activity.
The jurisdiction of the Republic of Belarus as a subject of foreign economic activity in accordance with the Law includes:
development and implementation of foreign economic policy, including monetary and credit policy, the procedure for quotas and licensing of foreign economic operations; establishment of legislative foundations of economic activity in the foreign economic sphere; conclusion and execution of international treaties in the field of foreign economic activity in accordance with the generally recognized principles and norms of international law; establishment of a procedure for the creation and registration of joint ventures, international associations, associations, enterprises and organizations engaged in foreign economic activity; protection of economic interests of the republic, enterprises, organizations and citizens of the Republic of Belarus abroad; establishment of taxes, fees and mandatory payments to the budget of the republic and local Councils from the income of participants in foreign economic activity, the norms of which are established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus; definition of free enterprise zones; establishment of legal protection of foreign investors in the territory of the republic; participation in the creation and activities of international economic and scientific-technical organizations, as well as intergovernmental commissions and committees on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation and other international bodies.
Relations between the Republic of Belarus and other States in the field of foreign economic activity shall be based on the principles of equality, non-interference in internal affairs, cooperation between States, faithful fulfillment of obligations arising from the universally recognized principles and norms of international law and international treaties of the Republic of Belarus, as well as non-discrimination and mutual benefit.
The law also granted the right to carry out foreign economic activity to all enterprises, organizations, their associations, other legal entities and individuals after their registration.
The Republic of Belarus may establish its representative offices abroad on the basis of international treaties. At the same time, it is envisaged that it is possible to open representative offices of foreign states, enterprises, other legal entities on trade and economic issues, as well as joint ventures, international associations and organizations in the republic. Subjects of foreign economic activity of the Republic of Belarus have the right to participate in joint ventures, international associations and organizations in the territory of foreign states and to carry out production, research, production and other economic activities on their territory in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus and these states, as well as international treaties of Belarus.