MINSK, 4 January (BelTA) – The Belarusian economy is expected to grow in 2018, Belarus’ Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV channel, BelTA has learned.
“The economy should be growing. The GDP is expected to increase by 3.5% in 2018. In 2017, we expect the growth at 2%-2.1%,” Andrei Kobyakov said.
He stressed that the challenges that lie ahead in 2018 are objectively more complex and bigger than those that were resolved in 2017. “In the next three years we should register such a growth as to to reach the five-year parameters. The third year in the five-year period is the crucial one,” he explained.
Andrei Kobyakov also spoke about the results of 2017: “We saw the stabilization of the foreign markets, especially the market of our main economic partner - the Russian Federation. There was a significant increase in the export, nearly 20%. That was a very good result. It was the driver of the growth in other industries, primarily the manufacturing sector. The turbulence period ended in some degree or became less pronounced. The issues of the financial recovery of enterprises are at the forefront today,” he said.
The efforts will be continued to diversify exports according the formula “one-third/one-third/one-third (Russia/the EU/overseas). This task requires significant growth in the manufacturing output, changes in the quality of manufactured goods, new products. A number of documents which were adopted in Belarus in 2017 are aimed at achieving these goals,” Andrei Kobyakov said.
Specifically, he noted that this year the rate of inflation will be the lowest in the history of sovereign Belarus. “This is a record of sorts, a positive record. We had the comparable inflation only in 2006 when the December 2006 to December 2005 inflation was 6.6%. This year it will be lower,” the prime minister said.
However, Andrei Kobyakov noted that it has not yet been possible to overcome the dependence of the economy on external factors. “This is a challenge that we will have to deal with in the medium term,” he concluded.