Much depends on motivation
The Government has summed up the results of 2012 and discussed priorities for this year. Undoubted achievements are stabilisation of the foreign exchange market, keeping inflation within forecast levels, a debt-neutral budget and a positive balance of foreign trade for the first time in a decade
People’s real income has grown alongside the economy, while gold and foreign currency reserves have increased by $180m. Nevertheless, the Government believes the results could have been better, since the country received nearly 21 trillion roubles less in added value last year than forecast. This naturally affected wages, profits and tax revenue, emphasised the Prime Minister, Mikhail Myasnikovich. Each invested rouble should reap two or three times more in added value. “Modernisation is impossible without investments and innovations,” he stresses.
The main priorities for modernisation in Belarus have been determined as the development of the private and private-public sector; state support for high-efficiency projects; and integration with the world’s leading companies. The Belarusian-Chinese Industrial Park provides a good example and is being provided with external engineering networks this year. The first joint projects are soon to come to fruition.
According to Mr. Myasnikovich, in the first half of the year, Belarus will be taking action to become one of the top thirty countries for ease of doing business. Another priority is construction, with a further two million square metres of housing planned. From March, all residential buildings will be constructed using energy efficient technologies and state loans will be available to private citizens wishing to build their own homes.
Although the main goals have been agreed, dispute remains regarding tactical issues. The Government will need to reach a consensus by March 1st, ready to report to the President on its plans for the year.