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21 Sep 2016

IMF welcomes stabilization efforts, structural reforms in Belarus

MINSK, 21 September (BelTA) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) welcomes economic stabilization efforts and the start of structural reforms in Belarus, BelTA learned from the IMF press release issued as a result of this year’s talks with Belarus in accordance with Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement.

According to the press release, the IMF Executive Board welcomed the economic stabilization measures undertaken by the Belarusian authorities since the start of 2015 and the launch of institutional and structural reforms amid the complicated economic conditions. “But faster and deeper reforms are needed to support macroeconomic and financial sector stability, reduce vulnerabilities, and raise growth prospects,” runs the statement.

The IMF stressed the importance of deeper reforms in order to open the growth potential. The IMF Executive Board called upon the implementation of a comprehensive reforms strategy in respect to state-run companies with a view to increasing their performance and efficiency, and also reducing budgetary risks.

The press release reads that the strengthening of business environment, including through efforts to secure the WTO membership, and the steps to expand competition on commodity markets will have crucial importance.

The IMF Executive Board also welcomed a more flexible exchange rate which serves as an important shock absorber, preserving scarce reserves.

The IMF Executive Council finished consultations with Belarus in line with Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement on 2 September 2016. In accordance with Article IV the IMF arranges bilateral consultations with the member states usually every year. As part of the consultations an IMF team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses economic changes and economic policy measures with the authorities. After that the IMF team prepares a report that becomes the core of the IMF Executive Board discussions.

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