Trade turnover in 2017 will grow due to wage growth in Belarus
According to Belstat, in January-May 2017, retail trade turnover totalled BYN 14.8 billion or 99.9% of 2016. In early 2017, the decline in retail trade turnover was 4.6%. As real wages grow, the turnover of goods is restoring. In May 2017, wages increased to BYN 795, which was 4% higher than wages in May 2016. Retail trade turnover is likely to continue to increase, retailers are likely to launch new advertising campaigns to increase their market share, and the situation with settlements between suppliers and retailers is likely to improve. Taking into account the expected further wage growth, the retail turnover index in Q1 2017 is likely to outpace Q1 2016, retail chains are likely to change their staffing policy, which would reduce personnel turnover and gradually increase wages in line with the general trend on the labour market.
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.