July 9 – July 15, 2018
The ruling elite

Reformists strengthen the private sector confidence in the state, law enforcers prompt staff reshuffles in the Health Ministry

The situation has not changed
Reformists strengthen the private sector confidence in the state, law enforcers prompt staff reshuffles in the Health Ministry

Supporters of market reforms in the government and the National Bank managed to retain positive expectations in the business community when it comes to the national currency and economic policy, which manifested in GDP growth. The unprecedented anti-corruption campaign has raised concerns in society about imbalances in the state administration and undue increase in the role of the power block. The authorities use the persecution on corruption charges as a personnel policy instrument to renew and rotate staff in healthcare.

The growth in confidence of the private sector in the state had a positive impact on economic growth. In addition, the authorities embraced changes in the economic policy further to the requirements of international financial institutions without external financial support. This has strengthened Minsk’s negotiating positions in talks with the IMF about a new loan programme.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian authorities fear the consequences of comprehensive economic reforms, mainly due to the lack of clear signals from the Belarusian population that it is ready and accepts reforms. In addition, the Belarusian authorities yet have not overcome the anti-reform inertia of the Belarusian economy’s heyday of the mid-2000s. Moreover, some actions of the Belarusian leadership have undermined the economic authorities’ efforts to liberalise the business environment in Belarus. For instance, the controversial nationalisation of the Orsha Aircraft Repair Plant has had a detrimental effect on Belarus’ investment appeal both, domestically and internationally.

The high-profile anti-corruption campaign dominated the information space. Law enforcers reported about new detentions of high-ranking healthcare officials, state managers and Minsk city officials on bribery charges. As the state continues to reduce social protection for the population, the authorities appear to aim to boost efficiency in healthcare, the most sensitive public service.

The authorities are likely to continue gradual transformations in the economy in the view of dwindling state resources. The Belarusian leadership is attempting to step up its ratings and boost popular support through an anti-corruption campaign.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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