Work­ing for the Fu­ture

GDP growth in Be­larus will be pro­pelled by the tra­di­tional and new economies in 2017

Economy of Belarus - - MACROECONOMICS -

In re­cent years, Be­larus’ econ­omy has been strug­gling with the im­pact of large ex­ter­nal shocks. The slump in oil prices and the un­fa­vor­able sit­u­a­tion on the mar­ket of potash fer­til­iz­ers, me­tal­lurgy and other in­dus­tries threat­ened to frus­trate the coun­try’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment plans. How­ever, the gov­ern­ment man­aged to se­cure sus­tain­able growth and re­v­erse the neg­a­tive trends. The most im­por­tant tar­get for 2017 is restor­ing eco­nomic growth and cre­at­ing an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for achiev­ing the goals of Be­larus’ devel­op­ment pro­gram un­til 2020.

Guided by Five-year Term Pri­or­i­ties

Tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the ex­ter­nal shocks, the gov­ern­ment and the Na­tional Bank un­der­took de­ci­sive mea­sures to con­sol­i­date the bud­get and to rec­tify the bal­ance of pay­ments at the start of 2016. That could not but curb eco­nomic growth, in­vest­ment ac­tiv­ity and house­hold rev­enues. How­ever, it helped achieve macroe­co­nomic sta­bil­ity.

The coun­try hon­ors all its obli­ga­tions and pays out for­eign cur­rency debts on time. Be­larus has achieved bal­ance in for­eign trade in goods and ser­vices and has posted a trade sur­plus over the past nine months. The forex mar­ket has set­tled down. The sit­u­a­tion on the credit and debit mar­ket has im­proved. The in­fla­tion rate re­mains within the pro­jected level. The over­all statis­tics demon­strate eco­nomic re­cov­ery.

At the same time, the gov­ern­ment needs to mo­bi­lize re­sources to safe­guard eco­nomic growth, Be­larus Pres­i­dent Alexan­der Lukashenko said as he heard out a re­port of the gov­ern­ment about the eco­nomic per­for­mance in 2016, the draft fore­cast, bud­get and mon­e­tary pol­icy for 2017. In his words, it is es­sen­tial to hit these tar­gets us­ing in­ter­nal re­serves, cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies and ex­per­tise.

“This year the Be­laru­sian Peo­ple’s Con­gress passed a res­o­lu­tion con­cern­ing the most im­por­tant as­pects of the coun­try’s devel­op­ment and ap­proved ma­jor pro­vi­sions of Be­larus’ so­cial and eco­nomic devel­op­ment pro­gram till 2020. It is im­por­tant to make sure that the forth­com­ing an­nual plans and fore­casts should be aimed at the ful­fill­ment of the pri­or­i­ties set out in this doc­u­ment,” the head of state noted.

The pro­gram in­di­cates that Be­larus’ main devel­op­ment goal for the cur­rent five-year term is to im­prove the liv­ing stan­dards by in­creas­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the econ­omy, at­tract­ing in­vest­ments and en­cour­ag­ing in­no­va­tive devel­op­ment. Be­larus is pro­jected to wit­ness GDP growth of 12-15% by 2020 over 2015. The coun­try is set to have a 9.5-11.6% in­crease in real

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