Fewer profitable enterprises in Belarus by late 2016
According to the National Statistics Committee, in H1 2016, loss-making enterprises increased in number by one-fourth to 1738, making 23% of their total number. Unprofitable enterprises increased in number due to the reduced state support funding and the overall deterioration of the financial situation amid currency devaluation. Some key enterprises may adjust their performance indicators by using administrative methods (resource allocation, debt fixation in the national currency and deferred payments). Administrative pressure on successful enterprise is likely to increase in order to boost fiscal charges. In addition, administrative and criminal prosecution against managers at large profitable non-state enterprises is likely to increase. If current economic trends persist, the number of profitable enterprises may reduce by 10% by the year-end and net profits in the economy may shrink by 20-25% as compared with 2015.
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.