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The review of the activities of the Ministry of Economy in 2017 during the annual collegium

On February 16, 2018 an expanded meeting of the collegium of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus was held with the participation of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov. Minister of Economy Vladimir Zinovsky made a report on the results of the Ministry's work in 2017 and tasks for the current year.

A number of the most important system documents was developed and adopted concerning the main functional directions of the Ministry's work - in the sphere of entrepreneurship, investments, regional policy in 2017. "Perhaps, the greatest progress in implementing the systemic measures of the five-year plan has been achieved in improving the conditions for doing business," stressed the Minister.

In the process of preparing the forecast of socio-economic development for 2018, several options were developed, one of which became the basis of the budget, the second – targeted one. Speaking about the main functional responsibilities of the Ministry of Economy - macroeconomic forecasting, Vladimir Zinovsky noted that it is necessary to adjust the legislation that has been in effect for twenty years in this area. "We need to adopt it to the real conditions, give more flexibility and efficiency," the Minister of Economy said.

 He said that in 2018 the Ministry of Economy begins to develop a National Strategy for Sustainable Development until 2035, in which it is necessary to implement global tasks and 17 goals of the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development until 2030. According to the Minister, the ideology of sustainability should be a "red thread" through all the program documents, which is a promising global trend.

Speaking on the results of the year, Vladimir Zinovsky, as the main positive result, called the yield after two years of recession on GDP growth rates of 102.4% and consolidation of these trends in January. He also noted that in 2017, the recovery in the investment sphere was achieved - the growth rate was 105.3%.

"It is extremely important that this happened at the expense of investment in equipment. The growth rate is 119.5 percent. Such results were facilitated by the work done, including the Ministry of Economy, to improve the macroeconomic situation, improve the investment and business climate at the legislative level, and point work in separate areas, "the Minister of Economy said.

As examples of such work, Vladimir Zinovsky described the improvement of the regimes of the industrial park "Great Stone" and free economic zones, the introduction of a new mechanism for lending to housing construction, and joint work with the deputy corps to improve the investment climate in the country as a whole. He also informed about the completion of the drafting of normative acts, which envisage the improvement of the status of the National Agency for Investments and Privatization, its transition to the project orientation of the work.

"Meanwhile, not all plans are fulfilled. The forecast target for foreign direct investment on a net basis has not been reached. We’ve received only $ 1.15 billion or 83 percent of the annual plan. The reasons for the shortcomings lie in the overall system of work of state bodies. A sore point remains the insufficient number of new investment projects and initiatives with the participation of foreign investors. The work of the Ministry of Economy to improve the investment climate is important. But even the most progressive legislation wouldn’t help, if it doesn’t work, and formalism and red tape would  remain, "Vladimir Zinovsky said.

In 2017, the Ministry of Economy continued the implementation of the program-target method in public programming. A regulatory framework has been formed, the work of the Permanent Interdepartmental Commission was carried out, the most important target indicators were being monitored. The coverage of the consolidated budget expenditures by state programs increased from 15 percent in 2015 to 60 percent in 2017. The Minister recalled that by the end of the five-year plan this coverage should reach 90 percent of the budget expenditures. The key task in this regard is to transfer the capital objects of the State Investment Program into sectoral state programs.

Speaking about regional development, Vladimir Zinovsky noted the effect of the departures of working groups led by the Ministry of Economics in the regions in March-April 2017. "A whole layer of problematic issues was raised. A plan of measures for their solution has been developed and approved in the Government. For the year 41 of 59 events have been carried out, the rest - in the process ", - summed up Vladimir Zinovsky.

He also noted the strengthening of the practice of developing a key regional document - the Regional Development Plan. Now they are developed not only at the level of the region and the city of Minsk, but also in the districts and cities of regional subordination. As a result, an end-to-end system for realizing the tasks of the annual forecast of social and economic development has been built up: "region-district-enterprise".

Also in the report the Minister spoke on the functioning of industry, the financial restructuring of organizations, the improvement of property relations and the urgent tasks of economic integration.

The report on the implementation of the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of November 23, 2017 No. 7 "On the development of entrepreneurial activities" was made by Deputy Minister of Economy Dmitry Matusevich.

Deputy Minister of Economy Alexander Chervyakov reported on the plan for the new industrialization of the regions of the Republic of Belarus until 2025.

First Deputy Minister of Industry Gennady Svidersky delivered a report on measures to improve the efficiency of industrial organizations in the conditions of the Eurasian Economic Union.

The first deputy chairman of the Vitebsk Region Executive Committee Oleg Matskevich reported on the measures to implement the tasks of social and economic development of the Vitebsk region and the complex development of the Orsha district.

At the end of the meeting the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov has made a speech.