Global Economic Crisis and Belarus: A Look Back
At first glance, it seems that Belarus’ recent economic performance surprised most outside observers. According to official statistics, economic growth in Belarus between January and June 2009 amounted to a 0.3% increase year‐on‐year, while Russia’s economy – a major market for Belarusian industrial exports – dropped by 10.1% year‐on‐year. Comparison of the country’s previous economic performance illustrates the negative impact of the crisis. A decrease of external demand hit Belarusian industry and increased external imbalances, while the fall of energy prices and deterioration of enterprises deteriorated government revenues. All of these factors unveiled structural problems that required appropriate action. Instead, the government has chosen to delay “radical” reforms by borrowing abroad.