The industrial center of Belarus, Minsk is home to over 250 factories and plants. Oil and gas companies maintain a presence in the city, with the retail and service sectors also employing a sizable chunk of the workforce.
As a capital, the city also boasts a notable international banking presence, although the sector is by no means as well-developed as other international hubs in the region.
The unemployment rate in Belarus is low, thanks mainly to the minuscule unemployment benefits offered by the government and a mandatory public works program.
The Belarusian government levies a 12% income tax on all citizens and the Belarusian earnings of non-citizens working in Minsk. This figure is a flat rate and applicable to all earnings unless you work in the IT sector, which benefits from a 9% income tax — a move instigated to increase its value-added business population.
Whilst the country does not tax on inheritances, capital gains or stamp duty, the VAT on most goods is 20% and you can expect to pay a customs tax on any home comforts you choose to import while living in Minsk.
If you are moving to Minsk, you will need to secure a job prior to relocating. All foreigners working in Minsk require an employment permit issued by the Department of Internal Affairs, a document you will also need in order to apply for a visa.
There are a number of online job boards detailing open positions. Although the response rate is not high, they are definitely worth a look, especially if you work outside of the education or political sector.
Demand for English teachers in the country is high, and there are a few agencies that specialize in providing English teachers to Belarusian schools. If you are a qualified teacher, the services these companies provide are well worth looking into.
As a foreigner, you are unlikely to be placed outside of Minsk, so if you have your heart set on moving to this lovely city then these agencies are a great option. There are also a number of online services matching teachers with vacancies, just be sure to consult the TEFL website and know exactly what you are worth prior to accepting a role.
If Minsk is where you want to be and your skills are specialized, then researching the companies in your sector which operate out of the city and contacting them directly might be the best way to secure a role.
The city is a major contributor to the country’s GDP and, whilst the recession saw a necessary contraction for a number of sectors, the companies here did not suffer as badly as they might have, with many now starting to recover and look towards future expansion.