The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has adopted a new four-year strategy for Belarus, which outlines the Bank’s investment priorities in the country.
The strategy notes that in the recently changed regional geopolitical environment Belarus has engaged in greater international openness and become more willing to discuss domestic political developments, including the human rights situation in the country.
These positive developments, as well as the international response to these steps, have created a new political context for the Bank’s operations in the country and provide an opportunity for enhanced engagement with the Belarusian authorities.
In Belarus we focus on:
The EBRD is prepared to support concrete reform initiatives of the government with investments and technical assistance to develop the private sector, promote privatisation and enhance the sustainability of public infrastructure through commercial solutions. The strategy identifies the following strategic areas:
Enhancing the competitiveness of the real economy: The EBRD will seek to provide long-term debt and equity financing to local and foreign investors as well as support small and medium-sized business (SME) lending through the development of a sustainable commercially oriented banking sector. It will continue providing advice to SMEs to strengthen their competitiveness. The Bank will also promote the privatisation of state-owned enterprises by strategic investors, which can provide capital and know-how to improve competitiveness and productivity.
- Enhancing the sustainability and service quality of public infrastructure: The EBRD will encourage private sector participation in the provision of public infrastructure services. The Bank will also seek to support well-defined reform initiatives of the government in the municipal, transport, power and energy sectors through its investments and technical assistance. Implementing these directions consistent with the Bank’s Green Economy Transition (GET) approach, the EBRD will also seek to assist Belarus’ transition to a low carbon economy, where public and private investments are made in a way that minimises the impact of economic activity on the environment.
As well as being a country where the EBRD works, Belarus is also a donor and a beneficiary of the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) and Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership Fund (E5P).
The EBRD’s latest Belarus strategy was adopted on 7 September 2016
Belarus's policy response to the coronavirus crisis
The EBRD is monitoring Belarus's policy response to the coronavirus pandemic. Our biweekly publication identifies the major channels of disruption as well as selected impact and response indicators.
GDP forecast for Belarus’s Real GDP growth in 2020 -5.0%
GDP forecast for Belarus’s Real GDP growth in 2021 3.5%
GDP growth in Belarus slowed to 1.2 per cent in 2019 due to a supply shock in the petrochemical sector caused by the contamination of oil imported through the Druzhba pipeline. The current account deficit widened from near-zero in 2018 to 1.8 per cent in 2019 on the back of declining oil derivatives exports (and a drop in the secondary income surplus), resulting in exchange rate pressures and falling international reserves. However, the government’s fiscal position remained strong in 2019 due to higher tax revenues and very conservative public spending.