Vasily Leonidovich, what tasks are on the first plan?
Basil Gursky: to Maintain stability and to ensure economic growth. Belarus is largely dependent on the economies of partner countries. The fall in world oil prices, insufficient loading of the refinery, the reduction of demand for potash fertilizers and the decline in business activity in the world has led to a slight decrease of GDP in January – may by about 1.8% on the same period last year. Affected industry, transportation, tourism and hospitality… Loss, but they are not such big in comparison with other countries due to the fact that businesses and the borders of Belarus are not closed.
Economic risks are still great…
Basil Gursky: do Not fully understand the scale of these risks. Obviously, the most painful and dangerous for all countries is the loss of jobs and incomes. These risks are directly related to the risks of reduced exports. A significant part of Belarus’s export falls on the markets of Russia. The downturn in the Russian economy as a result of efforts to combat the coronavirus, and the fall in oil prices has already led to demand reduction, including at the Belarusian industrial goods. Although the demand for food products grows. The jobs were primarily service activities (transport, hotels and tourism, catering). At the same time, is gaining momentum online trading, it may be a long-term trend.
How to go to recovery economic growth?
Basil Gursky: Drivers were made by the information and communication (growth over January – may amounted to 110.4%), housing construction (107,2%), agriculture (103,9%). In my opinion, the stability of the economy in times of crises depends on how the country is able to meet the basic needs of society, food security, developed light industry, construction, engineering and energy. Added to these are information and communication. It is the priority points of intervention for the Union state.
Now Belarus is presiding in the EEU. President Alexander Lukashenko proposed to establish a regional “security belt” by establishing import-substituting industries and localization of critical industries. Can the Federal government become a driving force of this process?
Basil Gursky: the Dynamics of integration in the form of the Union state and the EEU in fact reflects the same processes. While the States of the EAEC are more focused on trade with third countries. The share of trade is around 14% of their total foreign trade turnover, it is PTSshade a little. The Belarusian President clearly outlined the main priorities and the most urgent tasks of development of integration relations in the format of the EAEU. Among them – the elimination of trade barriers, reduction of exemptions and restrictions on the common market, to prevent the possibility of the emergence of new types of obstacles to the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour. This can be achieved by moving to a single or common policy in the spheres of industry, agriculture, formation of General energy and transport, financial markets, balanced agricultural market, alignment of business environment, creation of transparent competitive environment. This coincides with the main directions of development of Belarusian-Russian relations in the format of the Union state.
Belarus and Russia are actively discussed measures of state support of the victims of the pandemic. What is the commonality and differences in approaches?
Basil Gursky: , Belarus had adopted presidential Decree “On support of the economy” to minimise the impact of the global epidemiological situation. Provide for certain preferences in tax sphere, when you pay rent, energy resources acquired state property. Prepare additional measures to support business activity. Here in our countries have much in common, but there are differences. In Belarus, unlike Russia, there is no significant stabilization Fund. Therefore, long-term support measures associated with the reduction of budget revenues or increase budget expenses, unwanted.
however, in Belarus and in Russia understand the need to support domestic producers, including through the funding of promising innovative projects and restructuring of long-term debt of strategically important enterprises. It is also important to target lending to businesses that have export contracts for the prisoners, to replenish working capital, and population for the purchase of domestic goods at the reduced rate. The positive experience from the enterprises and banks of Belarus and Russia is also in the sphere of support of joint exports to third countries, it needs to be expanded. Together, together, easier to survive hard times and come out on the positive dynamics of economic growth. We need to protect what you have managed to build in their country, and integration.