Inflation in Belarus will not exceed 10.5% in 2009 - forecast

MINSK. Nov 12 (Interfax) - Inflation in Belarus this year will not exceed 10.5%, Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky said at an economic forum in Minsk on Thursday.

"The devaluation of the Belarusian ruble [in January 2009] has not had a serious impact on inflationary processes in the country," Sidorsky said.

Following "the spike in January, we reined in inflation and overall expect that it will not exceed 10.5%, which corresponds to the corridor assigned in the pre-crisis period last year."

Sidorsky also said Belarus is inviting foreign investors to take part in 100 projects totaling $6 billion. The government has firm plans to implement those projects in two-three years.

Belarus plans to raise foreign investment in fixed capital equal to 7.7 trillion Belarusian rubles (Br) in 2010, First Deputy Economics Minister Petr Zhabko said. Total investment in fixed capital next year is targeted at about 61 trillion Br.

Belarus had 13.3% inflation in 2008 compared with 12.1% in 2007. The government forecasts inflation in the range 9%-11% this year, while the IMF forecasts inflation to equal 11.5%.

The official exchange rate on November 12 was 2,710 Br/$1.


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