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...
17 November 2015
On 3-4 November three biggest Belarusian economic think-tanks organised the Kastryčnicki Ekanamičny Forum (KEF) conference in Minsk. The third annual economic conference gathered a number of high-ranking Belarusian and foreign experts, and representatives of international institutions like the IMF and the World Bank.
During Lukašenka's rule there has never been as many talks...
10 November 2015
The Belarusian government plans to step up its campaign against the shadow economy. In January 2016, new amendments to the Tax Code will come into force which introduce harsher punishments against illicit business. Last month, President Alexander Lukashenka demanded that Valery Vakulchyk, the head of...
06 November 2015
On 27 October, the Belarusian statistical office released revised GDP data. The government actually bets on a quick revival of the economy and bails-out some firms and industries through expanding its own debt.
However, this in turn creates a potential problem of public debt sustainability, as the perspectives for creating the effective economic activity of firms under a bail-out look...
03 November 2015
The suspension of air traffic between Ukraine and Russia on 25 October has created a new opportunity for Belarus.
The national air carrier, Belavia, and the national aviation authorities reacted quickly by increasing aircraft capacity on the routes between Minsk and Kyiv and negotiating with Kiev over the opening of new routes to Ukraine.
Belarus already has experience in...
01 October 2015
On 26 September in New York, Alexander Lukashenka met with IMF chief Christine Lagarde. They discussed prospects for an IMF-supported programme.
According to the IMF statement “Lagarde welcomed some recent progress in strengthening the policy framework in Belarus, but emphasised that a more comprehensive reorientation of policies, consistently supported at the highest level, is...
30 September 2015
In the last month before the Presidential elections, the Belarusian economy continues to disappoint. Although decline in GDP has slowed, the -3.5 per cent growth has failed to impress. The Belarusian rouble continues to depreciate as oil prices plunge.
The authorities have promised further liberalisation of the economy in the near future....
28 September 2015
On 16 September a new regulation of the National Bank of Belarus on currency transactions came into effect. It forced all consulates in Belarus to suspend their activities for a few days in order for them to invent new ways of collecting payments from clients.
This is how Minsk attempts to limit the dollarization of the economy. Instead of fixing its monetary policy, the Belarusian...