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16 Mar 2015

IMF ready to start new program with Belarus

MINSK, 16 March (BelTA) – The International Monetary Fund is ready to start a new program with Belarus, provided sweeping economy structure reforms are carried out, BelTA learned from David Hofman, head of the IMF mission to Belarus, on 16 March.

“A new program requires a complex package of structural reforms that could be backed by the IMF Executive Board,” said the IMF representative.

The package of measures has to include in full measure a flexible exchange rate, a proper rigid macroeconomic policy, and sweeping structural reforms, with the bulk of the efforts concentrated in the initial phase, he said. “If the government demonstrates the readiness to embrace these changes in the economic policy, then the IMF is ready to start working on the new program,” noted David Hofman.

The IMF mission head said that IMF experts had been made familiar with the program Belarus had prepared. “We are familiar with the plan of the government regarding economic policy. We consider various parts of the plan as hope inspiring,” he said. In particular, there are plans to introduce a full-value flexible exchange rate and drastically toughen the macroeconomic policy this year.

A scheduled mission of the International Monetary Fund has been working in Belarus since 5 March. It is a regular annual mission, during which consultations on article IV are held. In other words, the mission is tasked with the annual survey of the development of the Belarus economy. Similar surveys are carried out in other IMF member states.

The International Monetary Fund is a specialized UN institution headquartered in Washington, USA. 27 December 1945 is the IMF’s official foundation date. Belarus has been an IMF member since 1992. IMF operation in Belarus is aimed at working together with the government and the National Bank in preparing economic policy documents, focusing on taxation, budgeting, monetary management, exchange rate, and trade policy for the sake of achieving considerable economic growth, low inflation and a stable balance of payments.


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