Belarus to draft 2016 budget considering tough foreign economic conditions

Belarus to draft 2016 budget considering tough foreign economic conditions

Balanced foreign trade, stabilization of foreign exchange reserves and a slowdown in inflation in Belarus. Results of the socio-economic development of Belarus for the first half was summed up today, on August 14, by the government.

The economy is in a difficult external environment. And yet, the country timely pays off foreign debts and ensures the growth of export. Budget revenues amounted to 4.5 percent of GDP.

The most important task of the government in the second half is to restore economic growth. Belarus needs to further increase exports and attract investments, premier Andrei Kobyakov said.

Andrei Kobyakov, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
We live within our means. The first half of the year. The head of state set before us this task. The task was to live within our means. The economy is operating in a balanced mode. This is confirmed by the following factors: we calmly and in full pay off government foreign currency liabilities (in July we passed the peak of foreign debt payments, including the debut Eurobond issue), and we hardly increased the national debt, and even increased the reserves a little.

Vladimir Zinovsky, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Belarus:
The economy of our country is developing in the first half in a fairly difficult external economic environment. For an open economy it was extremely difficult. You know that the GDP in the Russian Federation in H1 2015 fell by 3.5 percent, and this is our main market. I want to say that we have large enough trade with Ukraine. In H1 2015, it fell by 17.1 percent. Of course, in such conditions, it was hard work for our economy. What has the government done? Of course, we have been working towards macroeconomic stabilization. At least this is our opinion.

The Presidium of the Council of Ministers considered the draft budget for 2016 and the forecast of the socio-economic development. The document envisages GDP growth, socio-economic orientation and increasing the availability of credit resources. The government plans to achieve it by increasing the value added in industry, agriculture, construction and trade. 

The government added that the draft budget for next year should be compiled taking into account austerity measures.