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Collapsing Economy Weighs on the Authorities – Digest of Belarusian Economy
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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...

7 January 2015
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The Russian Contagion Spreads to Belarus – Belarus Economy Digest

Belarus's GDP growth managed to strengthen in November. But despite this, many signals about an upcoming downturn have appeared. The Russian economic contagion began to spread to Belarus through trade and informational channels. The government reacted by introducing a de-facto...

24 December 2014
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Belarus Will Start the New Year with a Wishful Budget

On 11 December, the Belarusian parliament took only 50 minutes to adopt its 2015 budget. The rapid adoption of the budget highlights the parliament's puppet status - it could not even be troubled to hold even demonstrative discussions over the...

17 December 2014
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Cargo Trains Smuggle Cigarettes from Belarus into the European Union

Since 2014 the pattern of illegal exports from Belarus to EU has moved towards larger consignments. Large quantities of detained tobacco found on cargo trains. On 6 November Jury Siańko became the Head of the State Customs Committee....

9 December 2014
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Why Belarusians Turned to Shopping Abroad

With the economy dominated by the state and its illiberal trade laws, many Belarusians are increasingly taking to shopping abroad. In the the middle of November, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group reported that customers from Belarus ranked fifth in the...

3 December 2014
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Belarusian Economy Sinks to Uncertainty – Belarus Economy Digest

Belarus displayed modest but stable growth during past couple of months. However, future prospects for growth remain uncertain, given the deteriorating economic situation in Russia along with the desire of the authorities to carry out several growth stimulating policies. Moreover, there...