E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 1, 2018 - ISSN 1822-5578|
1. Basic trends of January
2. Chronicle of key events
3.1. Decree for a decree
4.1. Economic and political risks on the back burner
4.2. GDP doesn't fill the belly
4.3. Top 10 of taxpayers
5.1. The burden of our debts
6. Our forecast for February
During a meeting with KGB Chairman Valery Vakulchik on February 1st, Alexander Lukashenko emphasized the special rule of KGB in ensuring the country's security in all areas, noting that "for Belarus security primarily means the economic security today".
In our previous forecast we attracted our readers' attention to the specifics of security agencies' input into maintaining economic security during the period of active modernization efforts of economic block of the government. We won't repeat ourselves. Security agencies did not demonstrate their work publicly in January, but the head of state (and thus the head of security agencies) did.
In particular, on January 26th during a visit to the pharmaceutical enterprise Minskintercaps he made a number of anti-market statements. The first paragraph of the official press-release starts with an oxymoron: "An absolutely transparent and controllable monopolized system regulating the manufacture and sale of Belarusian and imported medical products should be formed".
Over 2017 Belarusian ruble weakened by 5.4% relatively to Russian ruble, which positively influenced export growth. In January of the current year weakening of Belarusian ruble continued: from 3.3279 for 100 Russian rubles on January 1st up to 3.5251 on January 31st. This dynamics, if we describe it using the language of the decree "On goals of socio-economic development of the Republic of Belars in 2018" issued on December 31st, will definitely improve competitive ability of economy, secure stable economic growth, and create additional conditions for its quicker growth in following years. We are not sure about the following years, but in the current quarter, as we expected, Belarusian economy retains its potential for growth.
IISEPS executive board