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from 10.01.2008

Government to consider socio-economic development forecast 2008

Government to consider socio-economic development forecast 2008

A session of the Council of Ministers will focus on the targets of the socio-economic development forecast for 2008 and a draft plan of joint action of the Government and the National Bank to achieve the parameters of the socio-economic development forecast, budget and monetary policy guidelines. The session on January 11 will be chaired by Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky.

The plan of joint action was developed in line with Decree No 656 of December 18, 2007 “On approving the most important parameters of the socio-economic development forecast of the Republic of Belarus for 2008” and also in pursuance of Resolution No 8 of the Council of Ministers of January 4, 2008 “On approving the main targets of the socio-economic development forecast of the Republic of Belarus for 2008”.

The plan of joint action is a list of itemized events. They are aimed at developing the macro-economic environment to ensure the projected growth of GDP (11%), to intensify investment and innovation activity, to increase the output in the real production sector, to ensure stability of the national currency, increase the real incomes for the population, improve the management of state property and develop small and medium-sized business.

In line with Decree No 656 “On approving the most important parameters of the socio-economic forecast of the Republic of Belarus for 2008”, in 2008 GDP is expected to grow by 8-9%. The industrial output is projected to increase by 8-9%, agricultural production by 7-8%. The manufacture of consumer goods is prognosticated to ramp up by 9-10%, including foods – 8-9%, nonfoods – 10-11%. In 2008 capital investments are expected to rise by 15-17%.

In 2008, Belarus is set to grow foreign trade in goods and services by 14.5-15.5%, including exports – by 16-17%, imports – by 12.5-13.5%. The trade deficit is projected at $1400-1420 million.

In 2008 real income growth is projected to make up 9-10% for the population. Retail trade is expected to go up by 10-11%, paid service – by 9-10%, labour productivity – 6.9-7.7%.

Profitability of sold products and services in the industry is expected at the level of 12-13%. The country seeks to reduce the GDP energy intensity by 7-8% next year.

In 2008, Belarus is set to construct 4.7-5.2 million square meters of housing. The employment volume will make up 4,460-4,535 thousand.

In line with Decree No 656, the Council of Ministers jointly with the National bank need to develop a set of measures to increase the efficiency of the economy, promote dynamic development of its branches, create macro-economic conditions for intensifying the investment activity and thus to ensure additional GDP growth of 2% (the forecast is 8-9%). This aim in mind, there is a need to mobilize the government bodies, other state organisations subordinate to the Government, oblast executive committee and Minsk city council to meet the enhanced parameters of the socio-economic development forecast of the Republic of Belarus for 2008.