Belarus’ foreign trade deficit will exceed USD 2.5 billion in 2015
According to the National Statistics Committee, in January - October 2015, foreign trade deficit totalled USD 2.1 billion. Compared with 2014, the situation has somewhat improved due to a decline in imports of capital goods and lower energy prices. However, the deficit might increase up to USD 2.5 billion by the year-end due to reduced exports of potash and nitrogen fertilizers. Russia’s ban on vegetables from Turkey is unlikely to remedy the situation, as Russia will tighten control of all fruits and vegetables, supplied via Belarus. In addition, she may restrict Belarusian dairy products on the Russian market. A further decline in prices for oil and oil products may hit Belarus’ exports with a monthly loss up to USD 2 billion.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.