Abolishing mandatory sale of foreign currency earnings will mark stabilization on foreign exchange market
The National Bank of Belarus in early July will discuss plans to abolish the mandatory sale of foreign currency earnings by business entities. Currently, enterprises are required to sell one third of foreign currency from received foreign currency earnings. This rule has been introduced in 1992 in order to regulate foreign currency market amid limited international reserves. If this rule is abolished, the financial burden on exporters will be reduced and so as their freeing exchange losses. Banks, however will lose some profits from currency exchange operations on forex and volatility on the currency market will increase. The difference between the buy and sell rates of foreign currency will increase too. Alternatively, the authorities may decide to lower the requirement and gradually reduce the sale from 30% to 0%. If the mandatory sale of foreign currency is waived, this will mean that the currency market has stabilised.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.