E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 2, 2013 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


1. Basic trends of February
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. About hungry rabbits and big money
3.2. Unitary enterprise “Belarus”: an enterprise with one owner
4. Economics
4.1. Chinese braking
4.2. Unemployment decreases, wages grow
4.3. It is not too bad in this country; it is simply not good enough
5. Finances
5.1. Catch up and outdo
6. Our forecast for March
7. From the IISEPS desktop


Dear readers!


Our doubt about the optimism of Minister of Economic Affairs N. Snopkov (“This year, as well as next year, the balance is going to be positive”) came true. Belstat published the January merchandise trade balance on March, 4: -$ 150 million. The GDP dynamics let the minister down, too: 3.1% (January against January) instead of the planned 8-9%, achievement of which the country’s main economist had no doubts about (see the December interview for the newspaper “Respublika”). On March, 1 opening the meeting of the Cabinet Council “About the results of the socio-economic development of the Republic of Belarus in the year of 2012 and the goals for the year of 2013”, A. Lukashenko emphasized that in 2013, the key year of the five-year plan, “it is important to decide on the goals and having decided work in such a way so as not to be too ashamed in two or two and a half years when we gather in front of all people for the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly”. January results, however, leave few chances for such optimism.
The government has not officially reconsidered the heightened “socialist obligations” concerning housing facilities for the year of 2013 (6.5 million square meters), but we had allotted not just one but two months for such a resolute action. At first sight everything was going all right with putting housing to use in January: 107.5% (January against January). And this occurred with respect to the high basis of the previous January: (207.4% January against January). However, the amount of investment continues to drop. Thus, only 2.1% of the provisional volume of investment for 2013 was used for constructing engineering and transport infrastructure facilities for the residential development districts. And this is based on current, not comparable prices. Taking into account the worsened hunger for financial resources on the part of manufacturing enterprises (modernization has not been cancelled by anybody), the government has no possibility for the appropriate maneuver in favor of housing development.
Just as we had supposed, timid January bodily movements of the western foreign policy vector continued. On February 12 and 13 in Tbilisi a delegation from Belarus headed by V. Makey participated in the second round of informal ministerial dialogues among the member-states of the initiative “The Eastern Partnership”. The topic of “The Dialogue about Modernization” came to light again. According to the unconfirmed information in February Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent an unofficial paper to European capitals with suggestions on reformatting the Brussels’ initiative.

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