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Belarus to record lowest inflation in history in 2017

Increase of population income, attraction of investments and employment were the main topics of the meeting hosted by the Belarus President on November 21. The economic development and the strategy for the future were discussed.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
In 2017, there has been some growth in the economy, there are positive developments in its key industries. The domestic foreign exchange market is stable. The balance of foreign trade is positive. We have increased gold and foreign currency reserves, we are restoring export volumes. Nevertheless, there can be no grounds for complacency. The economy in 2015-2016 lost 6%. In 2017, we restored only 2%, which is clearly not enough.

A logical question arises: why, with the GDP growth, there is no growth in the incomes of the population? I do not insist that it be a sky-high growth - but this is acceptable growth, and it is defined. Even during two years we have not restored the level that was at the end of the last five-year plan.

My assignment to achieve an average salary of BYN 1,000 (about $500) faces serious challenges. In this regard, what do we expect in this part for 2018?

The National Bank informs that this year we will achieve the lowest price growth in the history of independent Belarus. Good. 6% in 2017 is fine. However, in 2018, inflation in Belarus is projected to increase to 7%. What are the reasons for this?

The situation in the investment sphere is alarming. According to my information, next year the investments will be at 65% of the 2011 level. This is extremely inadequate for simply maintaining the competitiveness of the economy. If there are no own capitals, we must seek and attract investors. There are such investors and acceptable loans. But surprisingly - there are no projects.

Employment figures in Belarus are also alarming. According to the government, 70,000 jobs were created in 2016 and 49,000 in 2017. On the one hand, employment in the economy should grow, but on the other hand - the number of laid-off workers exceeded the number of people employed by 43,000 people. This issue must be resolved too, said the head of state.

Belarus President alarmed by low investment outlook in 2018