Debt load of Belarusian enterprises deteriorates their financial performance
According to the National Statistics Committee, the profit from selling goods and services in January - October 2016, totalled BYN 10.5 billion, i.e. 0.2% more than in 2015. Profits grew slowly due to the high debt load on enterprises, which spent about one-third of their profits on servicing loans and borrowings. In the future, the state is likely to cut financial aid to troubled enterprises; bankruptcies among the state enterprises are likely to increase in number; layoffs will persist and bad debts in the banking system are likely to accumulate. Due to further reduction in interest rates in the economy, the debt burden on enterprises may somewhat reduce, which will reduce loan servicing costs for businesses.
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.