Truly favourable background for attracting more investments
Belarus’ gold and currency reserves should stand at $8bn at least, notes Nadezhda Yermakova, Chair of the National Bank’s Board, at Council of Ministers’ session
By Lilia Krapivina
“Taking into account foreign economic risks, as well as Government payments and National Bank obligations in foreign currency due until the end of this year, we need to adopt additional measures to sustain gold and currency reserves at no less than $8bn,” she stresses.
Ms. Yermakova underlines that, in line with Belarus’ current five year socio-economic development programme, the country’s gold and currency reserves should equal three months of imports in value by late 2015: $18bn. Over the next three years, they need to rise almost 2.5-fold. In 2013, Belarus needs to expand its reserves by at least $700m while paying over $4bn to internal and foreign creditors. Despite the positive forecast for next year’s balance of payments in goods and services, $3.9bn will be needed to pay customs duties on Russian oil products.
Direct foreign investments worth $4.5bn are being attracted, creating a major source of foreign currency earnings, in addition to our usual exports. Moreover, two tranches from the EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund — worth $880m — are also to arrive. In 2013, the National Bank plans to gradually reduce its presence on the foreign currency market, to strengthen its anti-inflationary policy. “The stability of the national currency exchange rate will primarily depend on a balanced macroeconomic policy, with strict monetary policy and disciplined budgetary and tax policy,” explains Ms. Yermakova. She believes that inflation will be maintained at 12 percent next year.