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...
23 September 2015
On 17 September, Alexander Lukashenka publicly explained to Vladimir Putin the process of milk production and to Nursultan Nazarbayev the functioning of the market economy. In this way the Belarusian state leader responded to critics who have questioned the quality of Belarusian milk.
Milk in Belarus plays a significant role in the economy, as the country ranks at 5th in the world milk...
15 September 2015
On 11 September candidates for Belarusian president officially started their campaigns. From the previous presidential campaign slogan “For independent, strong and prosperous Belarus”, Lukashenka left only “independent”.
In order to buy voters in 2010, Lukashenka embarked on excessive wage growth in the public sector, while exploiting international reserves to...
14 September 2015
On Friday, President Lukashenka announced that the promised Chinese loan of $7billion would help Belarus cope with the current crisis.
A week before this announcement, he had gone to China for his eighth visit to Beijing. Is Belarus succeeding in befriending the rising Asian power?
The devil that exists in Belarusian-Chinese cooperation hides in the details, and statistics on...
10 September 2015
On 14 August the Belarusian government approved a plan to increase tariffs on housing utilities to their full market cost. The state wants Belarusians to live under market conditions in five years time, which means tripling utility bills by 2020.
Housing utility reform features among the main conditions under discussion between Minsk and international financial institutions for the...
08 September 2015
The Belarusian economy keeps on contracting: in January-July it decreased by 4 per cent. However, a number of positive trends have arisen: wages and employment are stabilising, along with improvements in current account balances.
The latter might signal an imminent recovery, but that remains questionable. Increased sensitivity to global financial turbulence and the lack of policy...