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Creeping Signs of the Approaching Crisis – Belarus Economy Digest
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The first half of the year has shown clear evidence that the Belarusian economy needs better incentives to revive its industrial strengths. In July the authorities announced their plans to provide financial assistance to several "giants" of industry. However, this...
27 July 2015
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Will Belarus Ever Become a WTO Member?

Two weeks ago, Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Aliaksandr Hurjanau declared Belarus was planning to finish all of the necessary technical work for the country’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in one year's time. However, exactly three years...

21 July 2015
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Why Belarus Struggles to Stop Subsidising Its Enterprises

This month, the Belarusian Ministry of Finance will issue bonds for $425.8 million to bail out Gomselmash (abbreviation for Homiel Rural Machine Building), the most important industrial holding company of the second largest city in the country. The large...

10 July 2015
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Investment Climate in Belarus: Room for Growth

On 9 July General Motors and JV Unison signed an agreement to assemble Chevrolet Tahoe and Cadillac Eskaleyd automobiles in the Minsk region. From the beginning of the year, several international fast food chains have announced a desire to open...

9 July 2015
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Myths of Chinese Engagement in Belarus: No Money Between Friends?

Last Thursday, Chinese workers in the Homel Province of Belarus broke out in a protest over wage arrears. The labour conflict went public and was yet another sign of growing Chinese activity in Belarus. The protest, unusual for Belarus,...

30 June 2015
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Collapsing Economy Weighs on the Authorities – Digest of Belarusian Economy

A labour strike at a major state-owned plant in June suggests that the current economic crisis will present serious political challenges to Belarus. Despite it being an election year, wages and pensions are not growing – a rare occurrence. Yet,...

27 May 2015
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Fears of Economic Turmoil, Banking Sector Problems – Belarus Economy Digest

According to the press release published by International Monetary Fund on 19 May the possible losses for the Belarusian economy in 2015 will amount 2.3 per cent of the GDP and $2bn of its foreign exchange reserves. The consequences of...

29 April 2015
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Belarusian Economy Creeping into Recession

The first quarter of 2015 displayed a number of distressing trends in Belarusian economy. The adjustment of the exchange rate has not secured the restoration of competitiveness. Furthermore, the government has to resort to conservative policies for mitigating structural weaknesses. The economy...

8 April 2015
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Belarus At War With Its “Social Parasites”

On 2 April, Alexander Lukashenka signed a decree against “social parasites”. From now on, individuals who do not pay taxes will lose be forced to submit around $240 annually into the the state’s coffers. This law is designed to help...

20 March 2015
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Belarusian Authorities Battle Street Vendors to Save the Textile Industry

On 17 March, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka paid a personal visit to a popular bazaar in Minsk, the capital, to resolve a conflict between the authorities and local street vendors. Earlier this month, a new government request was issued requiring...

26 February 2015
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The New Economics without Oil – Belarus Economy Digest

Belarus is reeling from the effects of the wobbling oil price and Western-imposed sanctions on Russia. The economy is now paying for the absence of liberal reforms through a decrease in manufacturing, the depreciation of the national currency and the...

17 February 2015
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Insulated from Competition, Belavia Profits and Modernizes

Whilst 2014 was a bad year for the Belarusian economy on the whole, it brought in plenty of profit for Belavia, Belarusian Airlines and Minsk National Airport. Without any competition from low-cost airlines, Belavia has been able to safely modernise its...

30 January 2015
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The Government is Preparing for a Recession – Belarus Economy Digest

For 2015, any positive growth would be considered a great success for the Belarusian authorities. Apart from external shocks, several structural challenges have emerged. A spike in inflation, deeper depreciation of the national currency, the distress of the banking industry,...

27 January 2015
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Belarusian Machine Building: Once a Nation’s Pride, Now a Burden?

In Soviet times, machine building was a driver of economic growth in Belarus. It is not so today. According to the Ministry of Finance, the Belarusian Automobile Plant, the Minsk Automobile Plant and the Minsk Tractor Plant lost $76m over...

14 January 2015
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Why Do So Few Tourists Visit Belarus?

Belarus remains a blank spot on the map for many foreigners. A mere 137,000 tourists visited the country in 2013—twenty-one times fewer than the number who visited tiny Estonia. Onerous visa requirements, combined with an underdeveloped service industry, undermine the...