Chinese loans unlikely to become popular in Belarus
Belarusbank will use a loan from China’s State Development Bank to support projects in Belarus. The loan has a five-year grace period for deferred payment. However, due to high interest rate (6% + 6 months Libor rate) only few projects would be implemented. Implementation of the projects will be accompanied by growth in imports from China, due to the 50% Chinese component requirement. In addition, Belarus would try to attract other investors to the ‘Great Stone’ technological part in order to demonstrate favourable investment climate in the country. Meanwhile, Belarusian private sector is likely to apply for untied loans at a higher interest rate, which would not require compulsory imports of Chinese goods and services.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.