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Belarusian People’s Congress

17 Jun 2016

Belarus’ inflation at 5% by end 2020

Belarus’ inflation at 5% by end 2020

MINSK, 17 June (BelTA) – The main goal of the country’s five-year monetary policy is to reduce inflation to 5% by the end of 2020. This is envisaged in Belarus’ draft social and development program for 2016-2020, which is to be discussed at the 5th Belarusian People’s Congress, BelTA has learned.

This means macro stability for economy, affordable loans for companies, and stable prices for every citizen. According to the draft program, the country’s main interest rate will be a basic instrument in regulating the level of interest rates in the national economy. Their level on new loans in the national currency is projected at 17-18% by the end of 2017, at 14-15% by the end of 2018, at 11-12% by 2019 and at 9-11% by 2020. Increased competition in the banking sector and the implementation of advanced technologies will lead to cheaper and more accessible banking services. According to the draft program, the exchange rate policy will become more flexible. Forex and gold reserves will be raised to a safe level.

One of the goals for the next five years is to develop a full-fledged financial market to secure sustainable economic growth. The key tasks in the area are to guarantee the protection of funds on people’s deposits, sustainable banking system, attraction of investment and latest technologies in the financial sector.

Further development of the financial market will offer people attractive areas for money investment. The country’s draft social and economic development program envisages free purchase and sale of shares of domestic and foreign enterprises of all forms of ownership. The currency system will be liberalized. The deadline for the return of currency to the country will be provided in contracts. The compulsory sale and purchase of foreign currency will be canceled. The restrictions on opening accounts in foreign banks will be lifted.

The financial market will offer the real economic sector new and more accessible sources of financing: corporate bonds, project financing, placement of shares of Belarusian companies on international stock exchanges with the help of foreign depository receipts. According to the draft program, measures to secure macroeconomic stability and improve the investment climate will create the foundation for a better sovereign credit rating of the country, Belarusian banks and companies. This will considerably ease the access of companies to financial resources for investment development.

The Development Bank of Belarus expects further improvement as a state institute supporting priority areas in economic development. The major focus will be on export crediting, financing investment projects, including public-private partnership. Accessibility to financial services for people and companies will be improved through rapid development of modern information technologies. Everyone will get an opportunity to conduct a wide range of banking operations distantly. This is expected to reduce operating costs of banks and, hence, cheapen the costs of banking services for users.

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