New export support and development programme may merely address old problems
The Government on August 1st, 2016 approved new Export Support and Development Programme for 2016 - 2020. The programme envisages to "reduce dependence on traditional export products and markets”, as well as "product diversification" in order to increase exports by circa 21-25%, and the share of exported industrial products to 65% of production volumes. In addition, it aspires to increase the export segment of "new promising markets" up to 10%, and divide exports equally between the EU market, the EEU, and other regions. However, amid economic recession and the preservation of the Belarusian economic model, these plans are unlikely to be implemented. The government is likely to focus on preserving Belarus’ positions on the usual markets (Russia, Ukraine, and Central Asia) for traditional industrial and agricultural products, which will continue to dominate and which are extremely difficult to market.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.