In different countries, there are different priorities in the foreign economic sphere, in general, and in foreign trade, in particular, and this is reflected in the system of state regulation and in the structure of the apparatus of state regulation in this area.
As for the Republic of Belarus, since its independence, the formation and reorganization of the system of state regulation and control of foreign economic activity has been constantly taking place. Currently, the structure of the regulatory apparatus is under reform.
In general, several levels can be distinguished in the existing system. The highest governing bodies of foreign economic and foreign trade activity in the Republic of Belarus are the President, the National Assembly (Parliament) and the Council of Ministers.
The President of the Republic of Belarus shall sign laws, issue Decrees and Orders having force throughout the territory of the Republic and guarantee the implementation of the main directions of foreign policy, represent Belarus in relations with other states and international organizations.
The Parliament, as the highest legislative body, issues laws regulating foreign economic activity, develops the foundations of the state’s foreign economic policy, and ratifies trade treaties with foreign countries. By decision of the Parliament of the Republic, retaliatory measures may be applied to countries that create discriminatory conditions for the country’s foreign economic activity.
The Council of Ministers is the highest executive and administrative body of power in the republic. The Council of Ministers issues resolutions and orders in pursuance of laws on foreign economic activity, exercises general leadership in the field of relations of the republic with foreign states and international organizations. The Council of Ministers may impose restrictions, establish certain requirements for the implementation of operations of international exchange of goods and services in order to ensure economic interests, as well as to fulfill the international obligations of the republic.
The directly coordinating and regulatory function of state regulation and control of foreign economic activity is performed by the Ministries, State Committees, Executive Committees, and the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus. The main ministries regulating foreign economic and foreign trade activities in the country are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and, more recently, the Ministry of Trade.
An important place in the system of management of foreign economic activity in the republic is occupied by the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Finance. They regulate export-import operations, participate in the development of decisions on the formation and use of the State Monetary Fund, conduct an examination of investment projects submitted for financing through foreign investment.
A significant place in the system of regulation of foreign economic activity belongs to the National Bank of the Republic and the State Customs Committee.
The National Bank determines the spheres and procedure for the circulation of foreign currency in the territory of the republic, develops measures to regulate the exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble to foreign currencies, exercises control over the conduct of foreign exchange operations. The National Bank also determines the procedure and issues permission to open foreign banks, their branches and representative offices in the republic. The State Customs Committee directly supervises the customs business in the Republic of Belarus.
The structure of the apparatus for regulation and control of foreign economic activity also includes Republican foreign trade associations and organizations, foreign trade firms of enterprises, as well as public organizations such as the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
(Bel CCI) and various Associations of Business Cooperation with Foreign Countries.