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17 Feb 2015

Flexible economy tuning in Belarus government action program for 2015

MINSK, 17 February (BelTA) – This year’s action program of the Belarus government stipulates flexible measures for the economy to respond to external challenges. The information was released by Belarusian First Deputy Economy Minister Alexander Zaborovsky before the session of the Council of Ministers on 17 February, BelTA has learned.

Concrete prompt measures will be taken to help Belarusian companies and their workers to adapt to rapidly changing foreign economic conditions and secure the priorities the head of state has set for the government, said the official. In particular, the action program comes with a package of measures to provide assistance to small and medium businesses, specified Alexander Zaborovsky. The government has taken into account most of the proposals submitted by business unions.

“We already see that the government has seriously stepped up support for small and medium business, including via loans,” noted the Belarusian First Deputy Economy Minister. “In particular, the Development Bank has expanded the program of credit support for small enterprises and businesses. These are not mere words and intentions. These are concrete actions,” he stressed.

The government’s action program also provides for a set of measures to incentivize export. According to Alexander Zaborovsky, generally speaking, the program takes into account possible scenarios and lays down flexible response measures to face foreign economic challenges.

So far the government has discussed three scenarios. One of them expects the annual average price for oil to be $60 per barrel, with the average annual exchange rate of the Russian ruble at RUB60 per $1. The second scenario relies on the annual average price for oil at $50 per barrel, with the exchange rate of the Russian ruble at RUB62 per $1. The figures specified by the third scenario are $40 per barrel and RUB80 per $1.

The set of prompt measures that the Belarus government will take in response to the unfolding foreign economic situation was discussed at the session of the Council of Ministers on 17 February. According to Alexander Zaborovsky, the government was also expected to discuss a package of measures to enable favorable conditions for the start of the new five-year term.

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