And now we have live Maxim Ermolovich, First Deputy Minister of Finance of the Republic of Belarus. Mr Ermolovich, good morning! Will Belarus become rich in the next five years?
Maxim Ermolovich, delegate of the V All-Belarusian People's Assembly, First Deputy Minister of Finance of the Republic of Belarus:
Good morning. We will certainly be richer. And the program of social economic development is a key document, which shows the way to achieve these objectives (improving the welfare of our people). The key factors were outlined yesterday by the President. This is increase in the technological level of products in Belarus and the creation of jobs thanks to high labor productivity. That will undoubtedly lead to an increase in the welfare of our citizens. And the second direction, in my opinion, is the most important. This is the increase in quality management system. It will affect the public authorities, all state-run organizations, and, of course, affect public spending in terms of reduced expenditures on management system and improvement of the efficiency of budget spending.
I would note said small and medium businesses too. Here, it seems to me, we have a lot to do. And we have in the program (almost from the start) the emancipation of business initiative. We all remember the very times in the 1990s when our, so to speak, businessmen with colorful bags, went to neighboring countries. Has this time passed? What will businesses make money on in the coming years?
In recent years, in the most difficult times of crisis of the global financial system, we saw that the small and medium business quickly adapts to changing conditions in the external markets.
It is more flexible by virtue of its size?
Yes, it is adaptive, flexible and adjusts to the conditions changing its strategy and behavior. Due to the development of small businesses the economy will be less vulnerable to external shocks. But this does not mean that the development of small business will cross out all that has been done before. Strategic line for the development of core enterprises will continue. We will preserve them, increase production output and increase quality. But at the same time adaptation to the new environment forces us to develop small businesses, to create conditions for the self-realization of the person.
Mr Ermolovich, in just a week the redenomination will take place. Perhaps it is the most important event in the modern history. Finally, we will have a strong currency. It is a good psychological aspect to have coins, not only paper notes?
This is a very important aspect. And I think it shows that at this stage we have reached the parameters that allow us to introduce new currency. We need to insure that this currency should remain stable. This is very important.
The presence of coins in the monetary system is one of the criteria of stability. Is this true?
The presence of the coin shows that the currency will be really stable. And this behavior and the fact that people get used to the stability of the national currency is an important factor in household savings. Man begins to understand that it is necessary to save money in domestic currency. Yesterday President said a lot about this. The key objective of the monetary authorities and the government will be to reduce inflation.