Main Tasks оf the Year
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.