Lukashenka prompts Foreign Ministry to boost international economic cooperation
President Lukashenka has requested the Foreign Ministry to focus on foreign trade in some specific areas. Apparently, the Foreign Ministry efforts to boost cooperation with Asian countries have not yet delivered concrete results for the Belarusian economy. In late May – early June, the Belarusian officials significantly increased the level of contacts with China, India and Pakistan in an attempt to balance out possible pressure from the Kremlin and the EU during the presidential campaign in Belarus. Recently, the president has requested the Foreign Ministry and embassies abroad to focus on marketing products of Belarusian state-owned enterprise in the coming months, in order to unload stocks and preserve the employment levels at state enterprises until the presidential campaign.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.