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20 June 2016, 13:17

SMEs expected to contribute more to Belarusian economy in next five years

Andrei Kobyakov. An archive photo
Andrei Kobyakov. An archive photo

MINSK, 20 June (BelTA) – The contribution of small and medium-sized businesses to the Belarusian economy will considerably grow over the next five years, Belarusian Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV channel on 19 June, BelTA has learned.

The Prime Minister emphasized that in 2016-2020, the growth of the Belarusian economy will be driven by the development of new sectors. “First of all, the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We expect that SMEs' contribution to GDP will considerably increase and exceed 32%,” Andrei Kobyakov noted.

The head of the government said a few words about the detailed forecast for the real sector of the economy prepared as part of the work on the draft program for Belarus' social and economic development program for 2016-2020 that will be discussed at the 5th Belarusian People's Congress. “In the draft program, there are no goals that are far too ambitious or impossible to achieve. We assessed the real capacity of 68 state-owned enterprises that contribute most to the country's gross domestic product and drew up feasible plans for their medium-term development. We have come to a conclusion that the contribution of these companies to Belarus' GDP can increase by no more than 6.4%, while the forecast sets the goal at 12-15%,” Andrei Kobyakov explained.

Priority objectives for 2016-2020 have been identified based on the results of the analysis. One of them is to secure long-term investment growth on a debt-free basis, that is by attracting direct foreign investment, private domestic investment, and corporate investment. Another objective is to increase employment. Andrei Kobyakov noted that President Alexander Lukashenko gave an instruction to create at least 50,000 new jobs annually. The Prime Minister believes that to attain this goal, it is necessary to encourage business initiative. In 2016-2020, Belarus will also make effort to diversify its exports and raise the level of computerization. High expectations will be placed on the youth. “All this will help us achieve the economic growth we aspire for,” Andrei Kobyakov said.

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