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19 Jun 2018

Opinion: Belarus economy will grow as projected in 2018

MINSK, 19 June (BelTA) – The Belarusian economy will expand in 2018 as projected, Director of Alpari Eurasia Alexander Sabodin said during an online press conference hosted by BelTA.

“With the favorable trends remaining in place, the economy is likely to demonstrate the growth the government has planned,” he said.

Alexander Sabodin recalled that the GDP has been growing at a good pace since the beginning of the year but largely thanks to several market and external factors. “Firstly, it is the low base effect in the first quarter of last year, when Russia cut oil supplies. Secondly, this is the increase in oil prices. On the one hand, it means more proceeds from the exports of petroleum products and on the other, higher budget revenue from the duties collected on the exports of petroleum and petroleum products. In addition, the rise in oil prices has been accompanied by a growing demand on the part of Russia for Belarusian products. In the future, when the low base effect fades away, the economy may expand by 2-2.5% annually provided the favorable external factors remain in place,” he said.

According to Alexander Sabodin, to accelerate this growth the country needs to carry out structural reforms, solve the problem of inefficient enterprises and their accumulated debt. “The main risks are associated with the low diversification of Belarusian exports both in terms of product range and also geography. The economy is too vulnerable to the fluctuations in oil prices and the Russian demand for Belarusian products,” he noted.

As it was reported, Belarus’ GDP is expected to expand by 3.5% in 2018.

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