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Opinions & Interviews

7 Aug 2017

Belarus’ GDP growth of 1% in H1 hailed as good result

Belarus’ GDP growth of 1% in H1 hailed as good result

MINSK, 7 August (BelTA) – Belarus’ GDP growth of 1% in the first half 2017 is a good result, Belarus Economy Minister Vladimir Zinovsky said in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV channel, BelTA has learned.

“After a serious recession, the 1% growth is a fairly good result which we achieved in a short period of time. The 2018 socio-economic development forecast envisages a 3.4% growth. But this is just the foundation for our plans to have a 3.5-4% growth in the following five-year period,” the minister said.

When asked about the financial recovery of enterprises, Vladimir Zinovsky recalled that an agency has been set up in Belarus to manage troubled assets of agricultural enterprises. “We have compiled a schedule of payments for every company to help them clear the balance and start borrowing on a healthy basis,” he said. The same approach, in the minister's opinion, should be applied to large industrial enterprises to give them a new lease on life. “But there is no deferral of payments without smart correct business plans,” Vladimir Zinovsky believes.

He also raised the issue of the availability of credit resources for public and private enterprises and directed lending practices. “The government decided to review these practices. Interest rates should market-driven and affordable to private companies or state-owned enterprises. This will become reality when the interest rates will be 7-9% or even 5%, like in other countries. But it's a process. It takes time,” Vladimir Zinovsky said.

Vladimir Zinovsky also spoke about the task set forth by the head of state to raise the average wage to Br1,000. “It needs to be earned. Productivity growth should outpace wage growth. I think that in the near future, somewhere September-November, we will reach a positive momentum in terms of money income of people,” he added.

The economy minister also commented on the plans to promote business activities. “Everything that impedes business development should be removed. The corresponding documents have already been developed. They will be submitted to the head of state in the near future. The decision on the documents will be taken at a meeting with the head of state,” the minister said.


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