Economic security parameters for 2012 approved by the Ministry of Economy
The Ministry of Economy has adopted a number of indicators of economic security of Belarus. Most of the indicators in 2012, as projected by the Ministry of Economy, will “fit” within the threshold values.
The Ministry of Economy has based its calculations on the approved socio-economic development indicators, which, as noted repeatedly, are characterized by unwarranted optimism and certain inadequacy. However, the command economy of Belarus lacks the real objective economic forecast and calculations. Government officials, even while modeling do not take into account the possible scenarios of the GDP loss or failure of other indicators. As a result, all the official plans are largely declarative. At the same time, external debt and other indicators in Belarus are still far from their thresholds. The country embarked on a rapid growth of external debt only recently (in 2009), therefore it still has some time before thresholds are reached.
However, given the speed rate of growth of external debt, as well as the low competitiveness of industry and the poor quality of the economic policy, a margin of safety could be reached in a few years.
At the same time, important indicators of economic security, such as the level of the gold and currency reserves, investment in fixed assets, the share of innovative products, the availability of own energy resources – have already been either exceeded or will be exceeded in the near future.
External public debt (excluding guarantees of companies’ debts) in 2012 should not exceed 24.2% of the GDP (the threshold is set at 25% of the GDP).
The internal public debt in 2012 should not exceed 1.9% of the GDP with the threshold of 20% of the GDP.
Public debt service payments (external and internal) in 2012 will approach the threshold value (up to 10% of the expenditures of the republican budget) and make up, according to the Ministry of Economy, 9.7% of budget expenditures (against 5.7% in 2011.)
The level of gold reserves in 2012 will be approximately 2 times lower than the threshold of economic security - at least 3 months of imports. It is projected the level of reserves will decrease to 1.5-1.7 months of imports (1.9 months of imports in 2011).
The threshold value of foreign trade deficit is set at no more than 5% of the GDP. The projected balance for 2012 will be positive at the level of 2.3-2.7% of the GDP against 5.7% deficit of the GDP in 2011 and 13.9% of the GDP in 2010.
The share of investment in fixed assets relative to the GDP in 2012 will be significantly reduced, but will not reach the threshold. Thus, the Ministry of Economy projects its decline to 27% of the GDP from 33.1% of the GDP in 2011 and 34% of the GDP in 2010 (threshold value for the share of investment is 25% of the GDP).
Share of own energy in 2012 will not exceed 25% against 23% in 2011, with the threshold indicator not less than 30%.
The threshold value of the share of innovative products in the industry is set at not less than 20%, but the actual proportion as projected Economy Ministry in 2012, will decrease to 14.5% from 15.5% in 2011.
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.