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Inflation in Belarus expected to stay under 7% till year end

MINSK, 26 June (BelTA) – Inflation will not exceed 7% till the end of the year, BelTA learned from Belarusian First Deputy Economy Minister Dmitry Krutoi on 26 June.

According to the source, the Belarusian government expects inflation not to exceed 7% till the end of the year, down from the previous estimate of 9%. “Our projections are cautious. We finished the first five months of the year with inflation as low as 2.7%. It is the lowest figure on record, this is why we actually expect inflation as low as 6-6.5%,” explained Dmitry Krutoi.

The official noted that inflation in Belarus in 2018 is projected at 7%. Besides, the government intends to reduce the refinancing rate to 11-12% per annum by the end of 2018.

World Bank and the EBRD, which have been working in Belarus for a long time and use full-fledged programs,” he said.

In 2016 the European Investment Bank lent virtually $80 billion for various projects, with about 15% of the sum borrowed by countries outside the European Union. The bank provides loans for small business projects, projects in the sphere of power engineering and transport. “These are three key spheres the bank is authorized to work in in our country. We already have a good project involving [the Minsk city water supply and treatment company] Minskvodokanal. The project costs about $145 million and provides for treating Minsk's wastewater as part of the government program Pure Water. Another major project is the M7 motorway, which goes all the way to the Lithuanian border, and provides for the reconstruction of the border checkpoint Kamenny Log. The third project involves lending to small businesses. The European Investment Bank is looking for a partner now. Belarusbank is likely to be that partner. The credit line may be large — up to $100 million,” said the official.

A framework agreement between Belarus and the European Investment Bank was ratified by the lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament on 26 June.