Belarus risks falling into trap of slow growth: World Bank official

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Belarus may fall into the trap of slow growth if the country does not pursue structural reforms of the economy, World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine Satu Kahkonen said on Thursday.

The measures taken by Belarus helped bring the economy back to a level of moderate growth. If its GDP grows by 2 percent a year, Belarus may find itself trapped in a slow economic growth, Kahkonen said at the KEF 2017 conference Foundations of the Future in Minsk.

“2 percent is too small for the government to achieve the established goals of the country’s development,” she said.

If structural reforms are not carried out in the country, this will only aggravate the weaknesses of Belarus’ economic model, she noted.

The World Bank’s representative said that Belarus, firstly, needs to improve the competitive environment by strengthening the operation of market mechanisms. In particularly, it is necessary to take measures to restructure state companies, so that they become competitive both in Belarus and abroad, she added.

Secondly, it is necessary to strengthen measures to protect the rights of owners and investors.

The third one is social inclusion and the guarantee of social inclusion. “In the process of economic transformation, it is necessary to protect people,” she said. “The current system of regulating unemployment will be insufficient under the new conditions of transformation.”

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