9 Aug 2022 16:58

Belarusian economy has contracted due to sanctions, but remains balanced - PM

MINSK. Aug 9 (Interfax) - The Belarusian economy remains balanced despite stronger sanctions from the West, which are restricting exports, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said.

"In the context of the sanctions impact and the challenges connected to it, Belarus's economy is nonetheless demonstrating record high quality indicators for balance," Golovchenko was quoted as saying by Belarusian state-run news agency BelTA at a government meeting on the performance of the economy under sanctions and measures to overcome them.

"The external conditions for the work of the economy have worsened substantially, as the sanctions introduced in relation to Belarus on the part of a number of countries affect all stages of exports from supplies of goods to receipt of revenue," Golovchenko said. A comprehensive set of measures has been adopted to boost production and exports in other sectors in order to make up for declining revenue due to sanctions. Additional production of specific goods will provide growth in gross output and ensure additional revenue, he said. "Exports of goods are growing on a monthly basis and practically reached the level of last year in June, and exports to Russia have reached a record maximum of $2 billion per month," Golovchenko said.

"The economy has contracted, but in our view, is demonstrating record high quality indicators for balance. This underlines the high adaptability of the economy against external shocks and the efficacy and productiveness of the measures adopted," he said.

"Gross foreign debt is at a minimum for the last seven years, the debt load of enterprises is decreasing, and debt to income ratio is just over 50%, which is the best indicator for the past six years," Golovchenko said. The share of unprofitable organizations has fallen 33.4%, and profit margin is at 8.1%, a ten-year maximum, he said.

Belarus's GDP fell 4.2% in the first half of the year. According to the government, sanctions are affecting around 30% of the country's exports, and the authorities are working on redirecting export flows of approximately $18 billion in connection with this.