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The global financial crisis of 2009 and the severe balance of payment crisis of 2011 demonstrated the limits of Belarus’ economic model. Belarus’ key transition challenges, largely unchanged since the last Strategy period, include reducing the state’s role in the economy to stimulate competition as well as greater efficiency and productivity growth, commercialising the financial sector to direct savings to more efficient investments and to increase the private sector’s access to finance, increasing energy efficiency and reducing the country’s heavy dependence on inexpensive imported energy, and improving environmental and financial sustainability of the country’s municipal infrastructure.
During the next Strategy period the Bank will continue to focus on promoting private sector development across all sectors of the economy, both directly and indirectly. The Bank’s priorities in this area will include supporting the transparent privatisation of state-owned entities and assets; assisting partner banks to deepen financial intermediation in underserved segments and geographic areas and improve access to finance by MSMEs; and continuing to engage the authorities through policy dialogue to implement structural reforms that support private sector development and improve the country’s investment climate.
To support commercialisation of the financial sector, the Bank will offer operations to private and foreign-owned banks, and consider supporting non-bank financial institutions to further broaden access to finance by private sector players. The Bank will increase the proportion of trade finance activity to private end-borrowers by reducing trade finance to state-owned enterprises.
To ensure the economy becomes more energy efficient over time, the Bank will offer new instruments to Belarusian companies, via partner banks, and technical cooperation support to the participating institutions in order to develop necessary human resource capacity and skills.
Building on its experience in the municipal waste water sector, the Bank may consider extending its existing Environmental Infrastructure Facility to other municipalities and/or engage in other municipal sectors that benefit the environment and have tangible and direct benefits for the local population such as solid waste management. Policy dialogue on structural reforms will continue to be an inherent part of the Bank’s activities in the municipal sector.
The Bank’s activities in addressing these challenges will continue to be guided by its mandate and its adherence to the principles of Article 1, and the Bank will continue to calibrate its engagement with the Belarusian state and public sector based on progress or regress in political and economic reforms, including in the annual Country Strategy Updates. In addition, the Bank will continue to apply sector-specific criteria in relation to its engagement with public entities and will ensure that no investment operations will provide a direct financial benefit to the country’s central government authorities.
Last updated 13 March 2013