Main Tasks оf the Year

Economy of Belarus - - CONTENTS -

Im­port sub­sti­tu­tion is not a new strat­egy for the Be­laru­sian econ­omy: na­tion­wide, in­dus­try-wide, and re­gional pro­grams have been em­ployed to achieve im­port sub­sti­tu­tion. All of them have been suc­cess­ful to some de­gree but it should be ad­mit­ted that they have not man­aged to fix the ex­ist­ing dis­pro­por­tions in for­eign trade, with im­port con­sump­tion still high.

The year 2012 should be­come a year for bal­anced eco­nomic growth. Be­larus needs to se­cure a for­eign trade bal­ance, should se­cure an ex­port growth that will out­strip im­port growth. Se­cur­ing a for­eign trade sur­plus is the key tar­get. A lot has been done al­ready. The sit­u­a­tion has been turned around: pos­i­tive trends have been reg­is­tered in for­eign trade since the end of 2011. Well con­sid­ered, ef­fec­tive, ex­port-ori­ented im­port sub­sti­tu­tion should cre­ate a solid base for bal­anced de­vel­op­ment and fur­ther eco­nomic growth.

Im­port sub­sti­tu­tion is the key topic in this edi­tion of the Econ­omy of Be­larus mag­a­zine. On 15-16 De­cem­ber 2011 the head of state held a sem­i­nar “Im­port sub­sti­tu­tion as the most im­por­tant fac­tor of achiev­ing bal­anced de­vel­op­ment of the na­tional econ­omy”. Ma­jor as­pects of im­port sub­sti­tu­tion were dis­cussed at all lev­els start­ing from macro­eco­nomics and end­ing with spe­cific en­ter­prises. The event worked out main tasks and ways to raise the ef­fec­tive­ness of im­port sub­sti­tu­tion ef­forts in Be­larus. Con­cep­tual re­marks made by Pres­i­dent of Be­larus Alexan­der Lukashenko at the sem­i­nar held for ex­ec­u­tives of cen­tral state and re­gional gov­ern­ment agen­cies make up the first ar­ti­cle in the mag­a­zine. The two-day sem­i­nar, its re­sults are cov­ered by the ar­ti­cle “Strate­gic Bal­ance”.

Raw ma­te­ri­als and en­ergy re­sources make up the bulk of Be­larus’ im­port (over 70%). It is a pe­cu­liar­ity of the Be­laru­sian econ­omy. This is why it is ex­tremely im­por­tant to re­duce im­port in­ten­sity, en­ergy and ma­te­ri­als in­ten­sity of man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses. 2012 is the first year to see the re­duc­tion of ma­te­ri­als in­ten­sity in prod­ucts of the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor as a main in­di­ca­tor in Be­larus’ so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment fore­cast. The ar­ti­cle “Ef­fi­ciency Fac­tor” cov­ers the main ar­eas of ef­forts meant to re­duce ma­te­ri­als in­ten­sity.

Macro­fi­nan­cial sta­bi­liza­tion is a vi­tal con­di­tion for fur­ther sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth. To achieve it, this year’s state bud­get is deficit-free and has suf­fi­cient re­sources to honor so­cial and fi­nan­cial obli­ga­tions of the state. The key tasks the state fi­nances have to ac­com­plish, pe­cu­liar­i­ties of bud­get pol­icy, and ex­pected changes in the bud­get sphere are cov­ered by the in­ter­view with Be­laru­sian Fi­nance Min­is­ter An­drei Kharkovets.

In the ar­ti­cle “Im­por­tant Fac­tor of Eco­nomic Growth” Be­laru­sian Econ­omy Min­is­ter Niko­lai Snopkov in­forms about the ef­forts put into form­ing a fa­vor­able in­vest­ment cli­mate and step­ping up the at­trac­tion of for­eign in­vest­ments tak­ing into ac­count the guide­lines stip­u­lated by the strat­egy for at­tract­ing for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments into the Repub­lic of Be­larus till 2015.

The law to amend the tax code of the Repub­lic of Be­larus came into ef­fect at the be­gin­ning of the year. The amend­ments to tax­a­tion reg­u­la­tions and the goals the mea­sures aim for are cov­ered by the in­ter­view with Be­laru­sian Tax Min­is­ter Vladimir Poluyan.

Be­larus should en­ter the year 2013 with a re­newed econ­omy. Suc­cess­ful start of the year 2012, the mea­sures taken to in­crease ef­fec­tive­ness and the com­pet­i­tive abil­ity of the Be­laru­sian econ­omy, its branches and in­di­vid­ual en­ter­prises in­spire con­fi­dence the plans will come true.

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