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12 Dec 2016

World Bank expects Belarusian economy recovery in 2018

MINSK, 12 December (BelTA) – The Belarusian economy may recover in 2018, BelTA learned from World Bank country economist Kirill Gaiduk during the presentation of another World Bank Country Survey for Belarus on 12 December.

The World Bank expert noted: “If we consider medium-term prospects, we expect a recovery of the Belarusian economy in 2018 at the earliest.” Kirill Gaiduk stressed that in 2016 the lower export revenues and the weak domestic demand continued having a negative effect on the economy. The slowdown impulse is weaker now. It is confirmed by the moderate reduction of industrial output and the small growth in agriculture and a number of branches of the services sector.

The expert explained that the Belarusian economy is expected to recover thanks to the improved external environment and the first results of the measures meant to bolster the national competitive ability. As before the external risks will be driven by the growing current account deficit and the considerable disbursements to pay out and service the external state debt in foreign currencies.

The World Bank economist also pointed out that Belarus’ GDP continues falling but at a slower rate. “The restored export of investment goods and the export of machines to Russia have helped slow down reduction in the production sector,” he said. Belarus’ GDP is expected to continue falling in 2017. Growth of up to 1.1% can be expected in 2018.

“Economic reforms should stay focused on improving the competitive ability and the manufacturing ability of enterprises. It is the key precondition for the sustainable growth of the national economy. In order to encourage the establishment of new enterprises, it is necessary to further improve business operation terms although certain progress has been secured in this field in the last few years — Belarus is ranked 37th out of 190 economies in the latest World Bank Doing Business report,” concluded Kirill Gaiduk. The expert underlined that in order to achieve a lasting effect from these results and secure sustainable growth on the basis of higher manufacturing capacity, it is necessary to go ahead with more organizational and institutional changes, including the restructuring of enterprises and the shutdown of less effective enterprises. With better stimulation and management systems, state-run enterprises will be able to switch from striving to hit quantity targets to getting maximum profits and returns on investments.

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