Belarus’ target economic development scenario suggests that GDP growth will be 4.1% in 2019. This is envisaged by the draft projections of the social and economic development of Belarus in 2019, Deputy Economy Minister Alexander Chervyakov said at an expanded-participation session of the Economy, Budget, and Finance Commission of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus.
The draft projections are based on current developments inside and outside the country. External factors include economic situation in Belarus’ major partners – Russia and Europe, as well as global economic prospects, the exchange rate of the Russian ruble, and prices for key commodities, like oil, petroleum products, potassium, gas and metals. As for the internal factors, the draft projections proceed from the following preconditions: the inflation stays at 5%, salary rise is pegged to labor efficiency, macroeconomic situation remains stable, and debts are settled on time. In 2019 the country is set to pay about $3.9 billion to settle domestic and external public debt. As far as export is concerned, a favorable external market environment allows projecting a 7.3% export growth.
“The export will expand by $3 billion. Three quarters of the amount will be attributed to the increase in physical volumes, while a quarter will be accounted for by rising prices,” Alexander Chervyakov noted.
The bulk of growth will come on the back of non-primary goods. Taking into the account substantial export growth this year (over the five months the export rose by 21.9%), it will be difficult to achieve the same results next year, the deputy economy minister added. Therefore, additional instruments to support exporters will come into play. These instruments are set out in Decree No. 534 and Decree No.466. Alexander Chervyakov providing the following statistics: in line with Decree No. 466, $1 of subsidies generated $11 of foreign currency revenues in 2017. Next year subsidies envisaged by Decree No. 534 are to be augmented from Br400 million up to Br500 million; subsidies set out in Decree No. 466 will be expanded from Br120 million to Br150 million.
As for sales markets, Russia remains Belarus’ main export destination accounting for about 39% of all exports from Belarus. At the same time, Belarus is exploring and penetrating new markets. The country’s presence on the EU market in 2018 is estimated at over 30%, on the markets of far-away countries at over 26% and on the market of the Eurasian Economic Union member states at 43%. A target was set to boost export to the EU up to 36% and to far-way countries up to 31%. In 2019 Belarus plans to increase the export of services to a record high of $10 billion. This will be done by means of transportation services, IT services and construction services (there are proposals to take part in the Moscow Ring Road Project). The export of tourist services might go up by 15% on the back of the visa waiver and the 2nd European Games to be held in Belarus. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)