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Chinese Electrical Outlet, or How Chinese Help Belarusians to Solve Energy Deficit?
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While all eyes focus on Ukraine deeply stuck at crossroads choosing a proper direction, Eastern and Western donors zealously compete in Belarusian energy sector. In early November, the World Bank offered a $90m loan for the reconstruction of several Belarusian...
3 December 2013
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The Baumgertner Affair: an Oligarchic Win-Win

A nearly four month long “potassium war” between Minsk and Moscow has come to its logical conclusion. It has provided another example of Russia provoking Belarus' president and then quietly accommodating him. As Uralkali manager Vladislav Baumgertner found himself back in Moscow,...

29 November 2013
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Will Child Labour and ‘Tax on the Unemployed’ Help Lukashenka Avoid Economic Reforms?

This November a budget deficit and the lack of a labour force for state enterprises compelled the Belarusian authorities to initiate several controversial laws to help overcome the economic crisis. The government plans to recruit teenagers to underpaid unskilled jobs and to...

27 November 2013
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Need For External Financing and Ambiguous Business Perspectives – November Digest of Belarus Economy

This November showed the need for foreign capital in the Belarusian economy is becoming more and more acute. By the end of October the international reserves of Belarus decreased by $575m and amounted to $6.813bn. This number is much lower than the $8,500 predicted...

15 November 2013
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Fear and Loathing in Barysau

On 8 November, in a repeat of his 2012 visit, Alexander Lukashenka sent waves through the headlines in all Belarusian media during a visit to a state-owned woodworking manufacturer Barysaudreu in Barysau, a town 60 km from Minsk. The two...

14 November 2013
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Kastrychnicki Economic Forum: Why the Belarusian Economy Stagnates

Slow economic growth, inefficient capital accumulation and the steady outflow of its labour force from Belarus became the hottest topics at the Kastrychnicki Economic Forum (KEF) held on 5 November in Minsk.  For many years authorities responded to the criticism toward the Belarusian economic model...

13 November 2013
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Belarusian Officials Criticise Eurasian Integration

On 31 October Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Uladzimir Siamashka, while speaking in parliament, claimed that Belarus was suffering losses due to systemic exemptions in the Russian-dominated Customs Treaty and Common Economic Space. These losses might increase - in January Russia is introducing a...

4 November 2013
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KEF Forum Brings Together Officials and Independent Experts to Discuss Belarus Economy

On 5 November experts on the Belarusian economy and government officials will take a closer look at the challenges the Belarusian economy faces at the October Economic Forum (KEF) in Minsk. Hotel Europa will host a one day conference 'New...

24 October 2013
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The Plan to Save the Economy: October Digest of Belarusian Economy

On the 10 October 2013 the government and the National Bank of Belarus issued a plan for structural reforms of the Belarusian economy aimed to increase its competitiveness.​  Faced with major threats to its macroeconomic stability and the unfortunate timing of the...

14 October 2013
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Can Belarus Benefit from its Brain Drain?

Although Belarusians have enjoyed the same rights in hiring, pay and social benefits as Russian citizens since 1996, migration from Belarus to Russia more than tripled since 2010.  According to the traditional view on high-skilled migration or brain drain, the home...

2 October 2013
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Shadow Economy Threatens the Future of Belarus

Last month the Deputy Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Belarus confirmed that the government wants to introduce a new tax on unemployed people. The state wants to get money from economically active people without official jobs who benefit from free or subsidised services...

26 September 2013
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Stabilisation of Inflation and the Potassium Conflict – Digest of Belarus Economy

In August and September, the general public's attention was focused on the dispute between Belaruskali and Uralkali, the world's two largest producers of potash fertilisers. The conflict between two economic entities created additional difficulties for the Belarusian potash industry, as well as...

19 September 2013
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IMF Loans: The Money We Do Not Need?

A controversial event took place next to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) office in the middle of the summer in Washington, DC.Dozens of Belarusians stretched eye-catching posters encouraging the IMF to assist Belarus....

31 August 2013
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Belaruskali v Uralkali: Between Politics and Criminality

On Monday, Belarusian authorities arrested the general director of Russian potash company Uralkali. Vladislav Baumgertner, who came to Minsk to negotiate with Prime Minster Mikhail Myasnikovich.About a month ago, Uralkali stopped cooperation with...

30 August 2013
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External and Domestic Shocks – Digest of Belarusian Economy

In July, GDP growth somehow gained momentum, but was still very modest and difficult to place confidence in. Shrinking external demand is one of the core problems for the national economy, although the authorities attempt to compensate these losses...