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Opinions & Interviews

11 Jul 2018

Belarus determined to reconcile its positions with IMF

Belarus determined to reconcile its positions with IMF

MINSK, 11 July (BelTA) – Belarus is set to reconcile its positions with the IMF in key areas of focus, Chairman of the Council of the Republic Mikhail Myasnikovich said as he met with chief of the IMF mission in Belarus Jacques Miniane on 11 July, BelTA has learned.

The speaker underlined that Belarus will be glad to use the IMF’s expertise and knowledge. “We are going to reconcile our positions across the issues where we do not quite have a common ground. We want to focus on the shared vision rather than emphasize disagreements,” he said.

Mikhail Myasnikovich noted that the strategic objective of the Belarusian government is to maintain economic growth, promote SMEs, reduce economic vulnerability, and improve social security instruments. To achieve these goals, a set of documents was endorsed by the president. “With this in mind we would like to expand our cooperation with the fund. The optimal format is a joint program,” he said.

Belarus has built good relations with international organizations, including the World Bank Group that has recently adopted a new country program for Belarus. In this regard, the IMF’s evaluation of Belarus’ macroeconomic policy will be of particular importance. Mikhail Myasnikovich expressed hope that the ongoing visit of the mission and its negotiations with the government and the National Bank will send a positive message to international financial organizations and private investors.

Mikhail Myasnikovich and Jacques Miniane discussed a broad spectrum of cooperation avenues between Belarus and the IMF. The speaker noted that the country is pursuing an economic policy that is in accord with a classic IMF program, however without its financial support. “Maybe, we are a little bit behind the schedule, however we stick to the basic principles of such programs. The absence of a program with the IMF does not imply the absence of reforms. We are carrying them out. The transformations have a positive feedback from the public,” he said. Mikhail Myasnikovich noted that a coordinated policy is pursued at all government levels.

The speaker noted that a whole set of fundamental documents liberalizing economic activity in the country was passed in late 2017. Among them is Decree No. 7 “On the promotion of entrepreneurship” as well as a package of legal acts to flesh this decree out. “It is a brand new approach, new terms of economic operation,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.

Jacques Miniane pledged all possible assistance as chief of the IMF mission in Belarus. He explained that the IMF has adopted the so-called ‘wait-and-see’ approach to Belarus. “We are no longer in talks over a program, however, we are following economic developments in Belarus and other countries,” he said. Jacques Miniane noted that in the past Belarus’ efforts to optimize its monetary and fiscal policy bore fruit and had a positive impact on the macroeconomic situation. The parties are set to continue cooperative relations in the form of consultations scheduled for Q4 2018.

A mission of the International Monetary Fund led by Jacques Miniane will work in Belarus on 9-13 July. It is a scheduled mission. Its goal is to review the current economic situation in the country.

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