MINSK, 20 July (BelTA) – Belarus' economy is adapting to the unfavorable external environment, Deputy Economy Minister Dmitry Yaroshevich said at the meeting of the Collegium of the Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Ministry held in a hybrid format, BelTA learned from the press service of the Economy Ministry.
According to Dmitry Yaroshevich, the Belarusian economy is adaptive to adverse external conditions. “The foreign trade surplus in January-May hit record $1.7 billion. The situation in the foreign exchange market is stable. Enterprises are in the black. Real wages keep growing. If we maintain momentum, we will be able to reach the level of 2021 by the end of the year,” the deputy economy minister said.
In his report Dmitry Yaroshevich outlined four main priorities for the government: ensuring the smooth operation of enterprises, redirecting export flows, substituting imports, and supporting households. A set of measures will be taken to fulfill each of these tasks. Most of these measures are already being implemented under Decree No. 93, the comprehensive economy support plan and other documents.
“Quite far-reaching decisions have been taken to fulfill the first task. These are the decision to write off the differences in exchange rates for the period until 31 December 2025, the permission to accept foreign currency revenues in cash from non-resident companies until the end of the year, the permission not to charge depreciation until the end of next year, maintaining the base rental value at the level of 2021, postponing the payment of dividends to a number of organizations for the past year and many more,” he said.
As for the second priority, the most capacious and promising markets are Russia and China. "In May, almost 2/3 of our exports went to these two countries. Our current goal is to unlock the potential of all friendly countries. We have developed industry-wise action plans to increase exports to the states of Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, the CIS, and also to Georgia, Turkey, and so on," the deputy minister said.
"To support exporters, the head of state and the government made the following decisions. Some 40% more budget funds will be allocated this year to compensate for preferential interest rates in export lending. Crediting of food exports got a green light. The export credits repayment terms have been relaxed for the enterprises that have come under the sanctions. Exporters will receive support to certify food production. A lending opportunity will be provided for the products assembled from Belarus-made spare parts on the territory of the EAEU member states," the deputy minister noted.
Speaking about import substitution, Dmitry Yaroshevich noted that the actions of unfriendly countries showed the importance of domestic manufacture capabilities. "Today, import substitution is a matter of economic sovereignty for us. Here we work in two directions: we search for alternative suppliers and we launch the production of similar goods domestically. We are working to maximize the involvement of small and medium-sized businesses in cooperation chains with industrial giants. A list of import-substituting products has been drawn up. It includes more than 2,700 items. A number of lending products have been developed through the Development Bank. They will provide state support for companies that will replace imports," he said.
Another extremely important priority is the support of people. "Despite the sanctions, benefits and allowances, salaries for public sector employees are paid on time and in full. The situation on the labor market is contentiously monitored. We monitor enterprises in order to identify those that have suspended their operations or are operating in a part-time mode," he noted.
In conclusion, Dmitry Yaroshevich reiterated that only joint work on these priorities will strengthen the adaptability and resilience of the economy to new realities.