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Effectiveness of Belarus' updated export lending system praised

MINSK, 22 June (BelTA) – The updated system for export loans has proven its effectiveness, BelTA learned from Belarusian Economy Minister Vladimir Zinovsky on 21 June. The economy minister took part in the fifth session of the interagency working group in charge of forming forecasts of Belarus' social and economic development in 2018, main economic development parameters, the most important money-and-credit parameters, main parameters of Belarus' budget and finance policy and the tax policy for 2018 and the target period.

The effectiveness of the updated export lending system is confirmed by growing sales of investment goods and by Belarusian exporters, who have been recently polled by the Economy Ministry together with the ministry's Economy Research Institute. Vladimir Zinovsky said: “On the one hand, virtually 80% of those polled need no additional export support instruments. Most of those polled have no problems in interaction with government agencies. On the other hand, it is obvious that it is necessary to increase the time allowed for completing foreign trade contracts. It is necessary to simplify the procedure and revise the timeframe for certifying products. Belarusian exporters need smoother support for their participation in international expos. According to Belarusian exporters, high competition on foreign markets is the main problem. This is why the task is understandable: it is necessary to bolster the competitive ability of Belarusian products in all areas.”

The economy minister also noted it is important to take a close look at the steps required to implement national development priorities in 2018, primarily investments, employment, and export. Speaking about approaches to the money-and-credit policy and to forecasting price growth, Vladimir Zinovsky said it is vital to continue reducing inflation and consequently reducing interest rates for the sake of enabling understandable conditions, in which real sector companies, including exporters, will be able to confidently develop their business plans.

As far as higher salaries are concerned, the economy minister noted it is necessary to fulfill the head of state's instruction on raising the average salary to Br1,000 by the end of the year and ensuring further balanced growth in 2018. In his opinion, the number of employed people necessitates further discussion, in particular, the creation of high-performance jobs, which can keep up employment levels and secure GDP growth.

The session of the working group was held on 21 June under the chairmanship of Vladimir Zinovsky. Deputy Economy Minister Alexander Chervyakov, First Deputy Labor and Social Protection Minister Andrei Lobovich, First Deputy Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich, Deputy Finance Minister Yuri Seliverstov, Deputy Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Minister Ivan Vezhnovets, Director of the Economy Research Institute of the Economy Ministry Viktor Pinigin, and other officials took part in the session. Participants of the session discussed matters concerning the adjustment of forecast parameters of the monetary management policy, inflation, the expected growth rate of nominal salaries in 2017 and in the period till 2020.

BelTA reported earlier that on 13 June 2017 the Presidium of the Council of Ministers of Belarus approved approaches to working out a target-based scenario and a conservative scenario of the development forecast. Concepts of the forecast have been polished taking into account instructions of the government and will be forwarded to the Council of Ministers soon.