Parameters of 2014 socio-economic development plan for the regions halved
The socio-economic development forecast for the regions halved compared with 2013. Income growth will slow considerably. The authorities have virtually no means to stimulate economic growth in the regions.
Gomel and Mogilev oblasts will have the highest GRP growth in 2014 (3.5%), while Brest oblast GRP growth will have the lowest (2.5%). In 2013, not a single region was able to achieve the projected GRP growth. One of the few indicators which regions managed meeting was wage growth. In 2013 wages went up by 18%. It is projected that wage growth in 2014 will be around 3%.
The authorities have virtually no means to stimulate economic growth in the regions. The modernization programme carried out at regional GDP-forming enterprises has not yet led to Belarusian goods becoming more competitive. However, the modernization’s negative effects are being discussed at oblast-level executive committees. In 2014, lay-offs are anticipated at enterprises which underwent modernization in 2013.
If the key parameters of socio-economic development are not met by the year-end, oblast-level executives may lose their jobs. Most likely, chairmen of Vitebsk and Brest regional executive committees will be the first to be dismissed. Meanwhile, reshuffles at regional level per se are not drivers for regional development.
Belarus’ GDP in 2014 is projected to grow by 3.3%, labour productivity - by 6.9 %, exports of goods and services - by 8.6%. The balance of foreign trade in goods and services is projected at 0.1% of gross domestic product. Net foreign direct investment is projected at USD 4.5 billion. A government-subsidized housing construction programme envisages commissioning 2.5 million square metres of residential housing.