Belarus overview

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Cityscape at night

The current four-year Country Strategy for Belarus was approved by the EBRD in September 2016.

We are closely monitoring the ongoing developments in the country and are in discussions with our shareholders and coordinating with our key international partners. A comprehensive political assessment in the context of Article 1 will be prepared as part of our new Country Strategy.

In Belarus we currently focus on:

  • 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

We are closely monitoring the ongoing developments in the country and are in discussions with our shareholders and coordinating with our key international partners. A comprehensive political assessment in the context of Article 1 will be prepared as part of our new Country Strategy.
We urge Belarus to continue fulfilling all of its international obligations. The EBRD is still investing in private sector projects in Belarus but is not currently considering new sovereign projects in the country. At the same time we are committed to completing already signed infrastructure deals.

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.

Learn more

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

 
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