We are closely monitoring the ongoing developments in Belarus and are in discussions with our shareholders and coordinating with our key international partners.
We support calls on the Belarusian authorities to engage in an inclusive national dialogue.
We have adjusted the scope of our activities with the objective of supporting the Belarusian people. As a result, we are currently limiting our new investments to selected private sector projects and are not considering new sovereign projects in the country. At the same time, we continue to fulfil our existing obligations and are committed to completing already signed infrastructure deals.
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 -3.5%
GDP forecast for Belarus’s Real GDP growth in 2021 1.0%
The economy of Belarus entered the Covid-19 pandemic in a weakened state partly as a result of the delay in reaching a new oil agreement with Russia. GDP contracted by 0.2 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020 on the back of declining manufacturing output and exports, due to disrupted production at the oil refineries at the beginning of the year. The pandemic has deepened the recession, with output contracting by 1.3 per cent year-on-year in January-August 2020. The absence of a full lockdown meant that, while output in most services sectors declined, the downturn was less severe than in many other countries. Nevertheless, the large export sector was hit hard by reduced global demand.
However, agriculture, construction and ICT recorded positive growth. The widespread protests triggered by presidential elections in August caused additional disruptions in economic activity and a general worsening of the business environment, which will additionally impair growth prospects and may threaten the export-oriented digital sector, one of the rare bright spots during the pandemic.
The currency has come under renewed pressure, depreciating by 21 per cent during January-August 2020, and foreign reserves declined from a historical high of US$ 9.4 billion at end-2019 to US$ 7.5 billion in August 2020. GDP is expected to decline by 3.5 per cent in 2020 and to growth by 1.0 per cent in 2021, with major downside risks associated with the pandemic and with the political turmoil.
Belarus in the EBRD’s 2020-21 Transition Report