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The Moment of Truth: Digest of Belarus Economy
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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...
22 February 2016
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How to Make Quick Money for the State: The Belarusian Solution

Belarus had a rough start to 2016 with the global drop in oil prices, causing instability in its currency and posing problems for its budget planning. Yet instead of focusing on the IMF recommendations, the government appears to favour...

11 February 2016
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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Digest of Belarus Economy

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...

18 January 2016
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What Is at Stake in the Small Traders Protests?

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...

13 January 2016
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Belaruskali: The Enterprise that Saved Belarus in 2015

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...

8 January 2016
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2016 Will Be Tough, Reforms or No Reforms – Digest of Belarusian Economy

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...

16 December 2015
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Can Belarus Authorities Prevent the Decline of Textile Manufacturers?

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...

8 December 2015
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Belarus and Zimbabwe Aim at “Mega Deals”

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...

27 November 2015
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New Policies on Deposits, Waiting for Foreign Money – Digest of Belarus Economy

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...

23 November 2015
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The Way They Do Reforms in Belarus: Actions, Framework, and Foreign Partners

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...

17 November 2015
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Are Belarusian Authorities Ready For Market Reforms?

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...

10 November 2015
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Belarusian Government: Strong on the Opposition, Weak on the Shadow Economy

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...

6 November 2015
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Progressing Recession Deteriorates Quality of Debts – Belarus Economy Digest

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...

3 November 2015
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The Ukraine Crisis Will Turn Minsk Into a Regional Airline Hub?

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...

1 October 2015
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Belarus Finally Reforms Its Economy?

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...