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Blazing the cryptoliberalisation trail – digest of the Belarusian economy
On 22 December 2017, the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenka has signed a presidential decree that identified Belarus as the first country in the world to legalise the blockchain—a digital ledger in which transactions made in cryptocurrencies can be...
6 December 2017
Ineffective state-owned enterprises, improved business climate – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 17 November 2017, the official statistical body of Belarus, Belstat, announced that GDP growth for ten months of the year has reached a new high outscoring the previous month’s record. However, state-owned enterprises are still unable to significantly...

1 November 2017
Economy recovers, but remains structurally vulnerable – digest of the Belarusian economy

During a trip to Minsk on 5 October 2017, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro showed strong optimism on economic teamwork with Belarus, but forgot to mention the buildup of outstanding debts. On 25 October, the National Bank of Belarus gave its...

7 September 2017
State debt and weak trade policy test Belarus recovery – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 5 September 2017, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka once again declared the need to accelerate the government’s efforts to improve legislation concerning economic embezzlement and other abuses that are slowing down the economic development of the country. Meanwhile, export...

4 August 2017
Plans to transform the old economy into a new IT-economy – digest of the Belarusian economy

According to Belstat, Belarus’s official statistical agency, in the first half of the year the Belarusian economy sped up, improving four months in a row. Meanwhile, on 17 July 2017, the authorities announced plans to transform Belarus’s IT-sector into...

3 July 2017
Remember reforms and forget about oil – digest of the Belarusian economy
Remember reforms and forget about oil – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 1 June 2017, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka announced that the oil refining industry was experiencing substantial problems. Meanwhile, the economy is still showing signs of recovery, growing three months in a row. This will encourage the government to make...

5 June 2017
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The end of a long-lasting recession? – Digest of the Belarusian economy

On 17 May 2017, Belstat, Belarus's official statistical body, announced that Belarus's economy is growing for the second straight month. Thus, on 24 May, Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashka declared new investment plans for the industrial sector assuming further economic...

5 May 2017
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Privatization: one step forward, two steps back – digest of the Belarus economy

On 4 May 2017 Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka declared that Belarus plans to gain approximately $50bn in exports off goods produced in the Great Stone industrial park. Meanwhile, on 3 April 2017, Moscow and Minsk resolved all their disputes in...

4 April 2017
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Macroeconomic stabilization on shaky ground – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 3 April 2017, Economy Minister Vladimir Zinovsky​ announced a negative forecast for first quarter GDP growth in Belarus. This comes despite an increase in industrial output and exports at the end of March. In this context, on 6 March...

28 February 2017
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Consumption in stand-by mode, investments and trade – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 20 February 2017, Belstat, Belarus's official statistical agency, announced that the GDP has once again dropped by 0.5 per cent in January compared with the same month in 2016. However, on 21 February 2017, Prime Minister of Belarus Alexey...

8 February 2017
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The 2019 European Games: circuses instead of bread

Although the Belarus is struggling to deal with a dramatic economic decline, the authorities are considering hosting a large international sporting event in 2019. On 9 January, Belarus established a committee to organise the 2019 European Games. The games, managed by...

3 February 2017
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Surviving year two of recession – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 3 January 2017, The Eurasian Development Bank​ announced that Belarus is the only economy among CIS countries with a forecasted GDP decline in 2017. Meantime, the biggest problem of 2016 remains unresolved – on 28 January 2017, the Deputy...

18 January 2017
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Freedom of expression: why do Belarusian authorities fear graffiti?

On 22 December 2016, three Belarusian street artists sued an investigative committee for unfounded accusations of hooliganism. On 13 January, the court rejected the claim, pointing to the absence of any violations of the artists' rights. Street art has became...

6 January 2017
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Belarus prepares to expand its visa-free zone

In October-December 2016, almost 2,000 tourists took advantage of new visa-free regulations to visit Hrodna Region. In response to the increasing amount of foreign tourists, Hrodna Region has started working on two important initiatives: visa-free railway voyages and launching...

3 January 2017
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Under pressure from Eurasian Economic Integration – digest of the Belarusian economy

As of 26 December 2016, the oil and gas dispute between Belarus and Russia remains unresolved. Moreover, Russia persistently rejects any tradeoffs: this deprives Belarus of a substantial part its foreign exchange earnings from petroleum product sales, thus aggravating the...