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Can Belarus Authorities Prevent the Decline of Textile Manufacturers?
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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...

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...

30 September 2015
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Belarusian Economy A Month Before the Elections – Digest of the Belarusian Economy

In the last month before the Presidential elections, the Belarusian economy continues to disappoint. Although decline in GDP has slowed, the -3.5 per cent growth has failed to impress. The Belarusian rouble continues to depreciate as oil prices plunge. The...

23 September 2015
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Belarusian Milk Exports: Success in the East, Failure in the West

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...

14 September 2015
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China as An Epic Failure of Belarusian Foreign Policy

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...

8 September 2015
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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
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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...

24 August 2015
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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...

18 August 2015
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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...

29 July 2015
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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...