Belarus urged to step up structural reforms as economic outlook worsens

28 Apr 15

Belarus’s economy is expected to shrink by 3.5% this year and by 1% in 2016, because of weak demand among its trading partners and low oil prices, the World Bank said.

While the country is committed to improving its fiscal discipline – the current account deficit is expected to narrow to 4.4% of gross domestic product this year – the World Bank urged it to accelerate its structural reforms.

Some reforms are already underway, including moves to create easier access to the labour market, put in place a robust social safety net, but need to be stepped up.

Young Chul Kim, the World Bank’s country manager in Belarus, said the current economic challenges reinforced the need for structural reforms.

‘Belarus can achieve significant productivity gains from policies that engender reallocation of capital and labour from less productive to more productive sectors, particularly private ones.

‘With significant underlying capabilities in science, technology, and engineering field, as well as good physical infrastructure and an advantageous geographic location, there is no reason for Belarus to remain in a low growth path.’

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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