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Opinions & Interviews

14 May 2019

Belarus hopes for new IMF program in future

Belarus hopes for new IMF program in future

MINSK, 14 May (BelTA) – Belarus intends to start a new program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the future, BelTA learned from Belarusian Finance Minister Maksim Yermolovich on 14 May.

Asked about plans to expand cooperation with international financial institutions in the foreseeable future, for instance, by signing a new program with the IMF, the official said: “Yes, there are plans if you look at them as long-term ones.”

Maksim Yermolovich believes Belarus is ready to implement a new IMF program. “A very important aspect of this comprehensive program remains in place – a full-scale reform of the state sector. We’ve worked on it long and hard with the World Bank particularly the part concerning structural reforms to bolster the effectiveness of the state sector. We’ve worked out a set of measures that the government is going to implement regardless of whether there is an IMF program or not,” the Belarusian finance minister said.

Raising the effectiveness of the state sector is the key task of the economic policy today. “It will be implemented through all the channels available to the government and the central bank: via the budget policy, the monetary policy, via our reform of corporate management of state-run companies. This task needs to be accomplished in the near future,” Maksim Yermolovich said.

“If we talk about near future, we have a clear-cut strategy of cooperation with international financial institutions. We welcome the expansion of the European Investment Bank’s mandate in the territory of the Republic of Belarus. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is taking very positive steps to start working in Belarus,” the official noted. “We traditionally enjoy good cooperation with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. There are many projects, which are being prepared or are being implemented.”

According to Maksim Yermolovich, the main purpose of this cooperation is to compensate for the forced reduction of capital outlays of the state budget in order to ensure continuous restoration of the well-developed infrastructure in the country (roads, energy industry, utilities industry). “We should maintain the high level of capital expenses of the state budget. In order to accomplish that while bearing in mind the high cost of servicing and repaying the state debt, the continued need to provide state support to enterprises, we have to substitute these expenses with something. In our opinion, funding from international development institutions is the optimal choice,” Maksim Yermolovich explained.

 

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