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Belarus PM unhappy about export trend, wants it reversed in H1

Economy 22.05.2019 | 12:23

MINSK, 22 May (BelTA) – The situation with export should be rectified in the first half of the year, Belarus Prime Minister Sergei Rumas said as he addressed a meeting of the Council of Ministers held to review the social and economic performance of the country, BelTA has learned.

Six out of seven critical parameters of the social and economic development were met in Q1. Only one parameter, namely the export growth was not fulfilled (98.1% as against the 100.5% target). The situation should be rectified by the end of H1. “An executive order has been signed to make the prime minister personally responsible for promoting exports and taking advantage of external factors to boost economic growth. We will soon announce an export promotion algorithm. This way we will maintain pressure on ministries, government bodies and embassies that fail to meet the targets on the monthly basis and will meet the target by the end of H1,” Sergei Rumas noted.

In January-March the export of goods decreased by $250 million, or 3.2% year-on-year. The decrease was registered across petroleum products, trucks, harvesting vehicles, electrical transformers. “The export of IT services expanded by 30%, that of transport services inched up by 2.5%. However we failed on other positions, such as construction, engineering and architectural services. The decline was 1.5 times,” the prime minister noted.

In general, this year the economy is on the growth track, with the macroeconomic balance in place. The inflation rate is kept within the projections. The foreign trade ran a surplus ($433 million in Q1).

The national budget performance is on schedule. “The government's liabilities in the foreign currency were fulfilled in time and in full,” the prime minister stressed. The country's gold and forex resources went up by $0.4 billion to make up $7.6 billion on 1 May. According to the estimates of the head of government, the domestic currency market is stable.

In January-April 2019, Belarus' GDP rose 1.4% to meet the forecast. The H1 growth is projected at 1.8%. The sectors which are still lagging behind are agriculture (99.4% year-on-year) and the consumption of gas, electricity and thermal energy (98%). “The figures are not bad as far as the energy sector is concerned (in fact, they mean a reduction in energy consumption in the economy). As for agriculture, I would like the agriculture and food minister to report on the situation in the industry. Good weather and a well-organized spring sowing campaign give hopes for high results in the sector,” Sergei Rumas said.

Photos by Gennady Zhinkov

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