22 March 2016
The removal of sanctions against Belarus earlier this year has led to increased interest from institutional investors such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Alain Pilloux, Acting Vice President of this major development bank visited Belarus last week as a part of a delegation, which met with Belarusian officials, including the president, businesses,...
18 March 2016
On 11 March, the Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB) detained Yury Chyzh, one of Belarus' richest businessmen who used to be on friendly terms with President Alexander Lukashenka.
The European Union once viewed him as "Lukashenka's purse" and he was on the EU sanctions list until recently, seeming to be "untouchable".
29 February 2016
On 16 February 2016, President Alexander Lukashenka announced zero tolerance for structural reforms being proposed by the government.
Meanwhile, since the beginning of 2015 state debt has increased by more than half and real wages in dollar equivalent have fallen to a ten year low.
Belarus's government is still trying to find a simple way out of the crisis by releasing new...
- 22 February 2016
11 February 2016
The drop in oil prices in the first two weeks of January and the resulting volatility of the Belarusian rouble have taken centre stage.
The Belarusian government took some small steps towards reforms, but took no serious measures to reform the state-owned sector of the economy.
Instead, it continued to pump money into inefficient enterprises to keep them afloat. Meanwhile, trust...
18 January 2016
On 1 January 2016, a new edict came into force in Belarus demanding that small traders who sell imported goods must provide details of their origin.
The edict was based on laws for small traders introduced by the Eurasian Customs Union that came into effect in January 2013. As a result, most outlets selling light industrial goods have closed.
The traders held an “anti-...
13 January 2016
Belaruskali, the world's second-largest producer of potash, fared much better in 2015 than the Belarusian economy as a whole.
In spite of weak commodity markets, the state-owned company's annual export revenues are likely to be roughly the same as in 2014. Were it not for Belaruskali, the recent slump in the Belarusian economy would be even worse.
08 January 2016
After several years of slow growth, 2015 became the first year of true recession. GDP fell by 3.9 per cent in January-November; employment declined over the year. The Belarusian rouble depreciated by almost 60 per cent.
Despite significant changes in the economic policy, 2016 will not be different. The official outlook (based on the oil price of $50) predicts zero growth, while the...
16 December 2015
On 4 December, Aliaksandr Lukashenka cancelled his visit to JSC Kamvol, a major textile manufacturer located in Minsk.
The president threatened to pay an unexpected visit to this state-owned enterprise in the future and denounced its attempts to cover up problems ahead of his scheduled visit.
Kamvol received more than € 100 mln in state subsidies in the last seven years, but...
08 December 2015
Belarus steps up its cooperation with Zimbabwe in sectors ranging from agriculture to mining.
In mid-November, The Herald, a government-owned leading Zimbabwean daily, triumphantly reported the “nod” granted by the country’s President Robert Mugabe to a number of investment deals with Belarus after his meeting with Viktor Sheiman, Lukashenka’s chief property...
27 November 2015
On 20 November 2015 Belstat, the official statistical body, released the updated macro-economic statistics. Disappointing figures on exports and manufacturing suggest that the economic downturn in Belarus continues.
However, on 11 November 2015 the National Bank of Belarus announced reforms on the deposit market. The bank tries to replenish the deposit’s term structure hoping that...
23 November 2015
Before the elections, many publications dealt with the subject of reform in Belarus. The analysis revolved around the post-Soviet space analysing the explicit degradation of the era of a commodity economy. This means that all these states will have to change, including Belarus.
Minsk has already signalled by its actions its intention to change many things in its economy and politics. It...