Busi­ness Plan for the Coun­try

Ra­tio­nal use of re­sources and mod­ern­iza­tion of en­ter­prises are the ma­jor pre­con­di­tions for sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth

Economy of Belarus - - IN THE SPOTLIGHT -

The so­cio-eco­nomic devel­op­ment tar­gets set for Be­larus in 2012 were pretty tough. The coun­try did its best to meet them and the ef­forts re­sulted in the $3 bil­lion com­mod­ity trade sur­plus, some­thing that had not hap­pened in many years. How­ever, five out of the twelve most im­por­tant tar­gets were not ful­filled. They in­clude the GDP growth, in­crease in in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion, re­duc­tion in ma­te­rial in­ten­sity in the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try and GDP en­ergy in­ten­sity, and the in­flow of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment. Al­most all the re­gions failed to meet the gross re­gional prod­uct tar­gets, while the city of Minsk per­formed even worse than in 2011.

Pres­i­dent’s As­sess­ment

The so­cial and eco­nomic devel­op­ment of the coun­try in 2012 and the tasks for 2013 were dis­cussed at the Coun­cil of Min­is­ters’ ses­sion led by Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of Be­larus Alexan­der Lukashenko. The head of state warned the government right away that the dis­cus­sion would fo­cus on prob­lems and fail­ures, as well as new chal­lenges.

The ses­sion lasted al­most seven hours. Re­ports were de­liv­ered by the Prime Min­is­ter, Vice Premiers, Head of the Na­tional Bank, Chair­man of the State Con­trol Com­mit­tee, gov­er­nors, and com­pany chiefs. That was a very de­tailed and fo­cused dis­cus­sion.

The Be­laru­sian head of state made a pol­icy state­ment as he spoke about the most press­ing prob­lems im­ped­ing the coun­try’s eco­nomic growth. The Pres­i­dent also out­lined short-term ob­jec­tives and tasks. Ac­cord­ing to Alexan­der Lukashenko, the coun­try’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment is not pro­ceed- ing as planned and leaves much to be de­sired.

How­ever, in 2012 Be­larus even­tu­ally reached fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity and macroe­co­nomic bal­ance: in­fla­tion slowed down con­sid­er­ably, the for­eign trade deficit was re­versed, the domestic cur­rency mar­ket sta­bi­lized, gold and for­eign cur­rency re­serves were kept in­tact while the coun­try fully met its ex­ter­nal and domestic loan obli­ga­tions. The most im­por­tant eco­nomic sec­tors – man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try and agri­cul­ture – demon­strated good growth.

Be­larus man­aged to con­sol­i­date pos­i­tive trends in the so­cial sphere: real in­come of in­di­vid­u­als in­creased by 21%, pen­sions were re­vised up­ward four times; house­hold de­posits in Be­laru­sian rubles and for­eign cur­rency rose 1.6 times. The av­er­age nom­i­nal monthly salary neared Br5 mil­lion ($552) in De­cem­ber. Peo­ple on the government pay­roll re­ceived about $418 in equiv­a­lent.

“It is clear that in re­cent years we have had to deal with numer­ous chal­lenges brought about by the eco­nomic cri­sis and the global

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