Belarus - 2010 should become a breakthrough for Belarus' export growth

2010 should become a year of a considerable growth of the export potential of Belarusian companies, Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorsky said at a session of the Council of Ministers on 2 February. The session highlighted the results of social and economic development of Belarus in 2009.

"This year should become a year of new opportunities for developing the export potential of Belarusian companies. The relevant strategies have been adopted, and these are the issues we are to consider today," Sergei Sidorsky said.

According to Sergei Sidorsky, the trade deficit continued growing in 2009 and totaled .8 billion as against the .5 billion annual forecast. The export potential of the companies has not been used to the full, the Prime Minister said. In January-November 2009 the export of products of the Industry Ministry totaled 49% over the same period in 2008. The export of the Construction and Architecture Ministry made up 52%, etc. The government has been taking necessary measures to stimulate the domestic demand, support the GDP-forming companies.

Sergei Sidorsky stressed the necessity of increasing the contribution of services in the economic growth. "We have been implementing the relevant integrated service development program. However, the planned growth indices for services were not reached in 2009," he said. It, first of all, concerns the services of transport, utilities, insurance, physical education and sports. The volume of paid tourism and hotel business services reduced.

The head of government pointed to the worsening financial activity of the organizations of the real economic sector in 2009. "The financial parameters of the companies worsened, the losses increased by more than two times to Br1.3 trillion. The biggest number of loss-making companies was in the Industry Ministry (27.6%). This index made up 29.3% for the Agriculture and Food Ministry, 32% for the Bellegprom concerns and 32% for the Bellesbumprom companies. The losses soared five times among the companies of the Industry Ministry, three times among the Bellesbumprom concerns and doubled by the Belgospishcheprom concern. It is a serious sign for the government to interfere," Sergei Sidorsky said. Financial issues remap the most important for the development of the country's economy, he stressed. "This year we should considerably gain in the industrial production, reduce warehouse stocks, improve the financial activity of the company," the PM said.

In 2010 Belarus should drastically intensify efforts to attract foreign investors, First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko said at a session of the Council of Ministers.

In 2009, the capital investments in Belarus made up 108.6% as against 2008. Vladimir Semashko had to admit though, that in 2009 the projected inflow of foreign investments did not happen. Last year they accounted for 1.4% vs. 1.7% in 2008.

Vladimir Semashko informed that in H1 the government intends to analyze the implementation of the current investment projects in Belarus. Apart from that, by 1 March, the government will extend the list of investment projects to be implemented in 2010.

The state support will be granted only for highly effective innovative projects in 2010, Vladimir Semashko said.

He also said that in 2009 most of the Belarusian companies received a substantial state support in various forms. But, unfortunately, the allocated funds were not effectively employed. Most companies that had received the state support failed to reach the projected levels of production. The industrial production in Belarus decreased by 2.8%. In some ministries the downfall was even bigger. For instance, the output of the companies surbodinate to the Industry Ministry dwindled by 22.7%.

Vladimir Semashko stressed that in 2010 there were fewer opportunities for the implementation of certain projects due to the global financial crisis. The global economy is emerging from the recession. The innovative development should become one of the priorities of the development of Belarusian economy.


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