20 January 2018, Saturday, 20:24

Barys Zhaliba: “Malinauka” car market faces closure


The anti-import government’s decree is to put private auto dealers out of business.

Such an opinion has been expressed by Professor Barys Zhaliba, Doctor of Economics, in an interview to charter97.org website.

- The government has created a draft decree according to which import of certain goods is to be limited since July 1. Passenger cars could be among them, and their import could be allowed for state dealers only. What is the aim is pursued by the Belarusian authorities by that?

- It continues the policy of imposing licences for importing beer and confectionary, in particular Ukrainian one. Imported cigarettes are disappearing already. That means, limitation of imports continues, in order to correct the balance of trade and balance of payments. And at the same time, the government is not worried by troubles of the population. However, while one can survive without a wide range of beer or sweets, the absence of the possibility to buy a foreign car for an average Belarusian is a serious thing.

- How this limitation is to influence the auto aftermarket?

- As far as I understand, the car markets “Malinauka” and “Zhdanovichy” are to be closed. That is, car showrooms are to continue functioning, no matter how is an owner. And private dealers are under threat, as they will not receive import licences.

- And is it pregnant with any consequences?

- Yes, it threatens to cause an immediate extraordinary demand for foreign-made cars. If people are to see that all these auto markets are closed, they are to rush to buy cars. They will understand that if they do not buy now, they won’t buy ever. Prices in showrooms are to be incomparably higher. It is to become like before the summer of 2011, when people learnt that customs duties were to go up since July 1.