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Are Housing Utilities about to Become Market-Based?
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...
8 September 2015
The Economy Gets Used to Sustained Recession – Belarus Economy Digest

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...

3 September 2015
Belarusian Roads: Good Quality, Bad Service

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...

31 August 2015
Why Belarusians Prefer to Shop in Poland and Lithuania?

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...

26 August 2015
How Russia’s Subsidies Save the Belarusian Economy

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...

24 August 2015
Humanism or Political Calculation: Why Did Lukashenka Pardon Political Prisoners?

On 22 August, the state-run news agency Belta reported that “based on the principle of humanism” the President of Belarus decided to pardon and release from prison former presidential candidate Mikalaj Statkevich and five other opposition figures. Lukashenka is trying...

19 August 2015
Russian Loans for Belarus: Postponing The Transition

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...

18 August 2015
Belarus and Russian Food Embargo: a Success Story?

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...

14 August 2015
The Myth of Thriving Belarusian Agriculture

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...

5 August 2015
Why Are Belarusian Economic Forecasts Constantly Inaccurate?

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...

29 July 2015
Creeping Signs of the Approaching Crisis – Belarus Economy Digest

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
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
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
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
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,...