As in other post-Soviet republics, structural reform appears to be proceeding most rapidly in the domestic retail sector. Small shops and traders predominate among the country's private retailing entities. However, expansion in the number of private wholesale distributors has been much less marked, placing small retailers in a disadvantaged position compared with large-scale and potentially monopolistic producers within the country's industrial sector. As of 2002, the government continues to work toward reforms, including greater privatization, that would strengthen a market economy. A 20% value-added tax applies to most goods and services.
Most businesses open around 8 AM and close at about 5 PM , with lunch taken sometime between noon and 2 PM . Retail shops are usually open from 7 AM to 8 PM , with an afternoon lunch period. Department stores, bookstores, and other shops usually open according to state institution hours. Bazaars are open from 6 AM until 7 or 8 PM .