16 July 2019, Tuesday, 14:09
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Prognosis: Belarusian Economy Will Slither

Our country is facing stagnation.

BelGazeta collected forecasts of economists on the future of the Belarusian economy:

Anatol Zmitrovich, director of the analytical center of the Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship:

“If it were not for Russia's preferences in oil and gas, if it were not for the EEU credits, then Belarus’s GDP would have long gone negative. Although the GDP growth remains at the level of an error anyway. For example, in Romania over the past three years, the GDP has been growing by 8–8.5%. Because they were given freedom there, they took Poland’s way.

I think that the GDP in Belarus will not grow. Industrial production and agriculture are in decline, there is no one to sell the products and there is no place - we have lost sales markets. In 1999, when virtually the whole country exported goods abroad, established sales markets, a normative document appeared prohibiting export of goods outside the Republic of Belarus under the threat of confiscation of vehicles. Citizens directly in the factories purchased goods, raw materials, produced something and exported products abroad. The ban on the export of goods led to the overstocking of warehouses of enterprises, markets were lost. A large negative role in all this was played by the Belarusian trading houses, which in the 90s were very developed. The “shadow” flows of goods went through them though.

The GDP consists of the activities of small people - the time of large industrial enterprises has passed. See how much money is invested in woodworking ($ 4 billion!), and the output is zero. I do not see the success of the flax industry. Over 50 years, $ 50 billion has been invested in agriculture! Give the farmers at least a tenth of this amount, the prices of products would be like in Poland then. The profitability of private agricultural enterprises is two to three times higher than that of state-owned ones. Having given a loan to the collective farm, the state writes it off at the end of the year. They won’t have to do so with private farmers.

What is the general sense to increase GDP, collect taxes from businessmen, if this money goes into nowhere? So Belarus’s GDP will not grow: no points of growth have been created.

Leu Marholin, economist:

- I think the Belarusian economy will not develop in the foreseeable future. What is development? This is money for new equipment, new technologies, for the retraining of workers. And if there is no money or it is not enough, then there is no development - God helps to support the existing level. As you know, the one who does not go forward, sooner or later begins to fall behind.

The percentage of growth that is predicted by international organizations does not really indicate growth - taking into account the purchasing power, and inflation. In Belarusian rubles, the growth may be 5-6%, but in fact there is none.

In addition, 1.8% is an indicator at the level of statistical error: where one percent, there is zero. The country is facing stagnation, which is like rust: at first, it may not be very noticeable, but gradually, gradually, it eats everything away.

Leanid Zaika, head of the analytical center “Strategy”:

- If everything remains as it is, the economy will slither. If they dare for reforms, competitive, technological ones, then it will go forward like Kolya’s bicycle.