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...
03 September 2015
At the end of July the Minister of Transport Anatol Sivak reported to Lukashenka on important road projects in Belarus, including a second ring road around Minsk and a road toll system.
Belarusian roads have became a brand in post-Soviet countries and even the EU because of their high quality.
Yet the road service remains poor despite attempts by the government to develop it. Due...
31 August 2015
In July the Ministry of Trade announced a plan to levy a tax on online purchases in foreign shops. Since then the state agencies have been elaborating the methods that will be used for tax collection. It could become another tool to prevent Belarusian customers from buying abroad, both online and in the flesh.
Earning almost three times less than Poles and Lithuanians, Belarusians...
26 August 2015
On 24 August, the Brent oil price fell to $43, which was close to a 7-year low. Although Belarus has not got its own crude oil, this is terrible news for its economy. The cheaper the oil, the lower are benefits from the energy subsidies to Belarus from Russia.
Over the last 20 years Belarus has maintained, relatively successfully, a quasi-socialist economy mostly thanks to the generous...
19 August 2015
On 28 July Belarus received a long-awaited loan from the Russian government worth $760 million. This was just in time to transfer the funds to the pockets of other borrowers - on the same day Belarus was due to pay $1 billion to the 5-years Eurobonds’ holders.
However, initially, it aimed at the repayment and servicing of Belarus’ debts to Russia and the Eurasian Fund for...
18 August 2015
Belarus became the primary beneficiary of the food embargo, which Russia imposed against Western nations in August 2014. In January – May 2015, Belarus supplied 916.4 thousand tons of embargoed products to Russia, a 53.5% increase over the same period in 2014.
Two weeks after Russia introduced its food embargo, Howard Solomon, the minister counsellor at the US Embassy in Moscow,...
14 August 2015
Agriculture was the fastest growing branch of the Belarusian economy in the first half of 2015. Many in Russia and other post-Soviet countries consider Belarus to be a model when it comes to maintaining a viable agricultural sector.
But in reality, the Belarusian government spends more on agriculture than the sector’s value added. Despite substantial subsidies many Belarusian...
05 August 2015
According to the official five-year Socio-Economic Development Programme For 2011-2015 the GDP was supposed to increase by 62-68 per cent by the end of 2015. In reality, the growth is likely to hit around 6 per cent. How did the government manage to get it wrong by such a large disparity?
After 25 years of...