Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/165971
Authors: 
Dabrowski, Marek
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
Bruegel Policy Contribution 2016/02
Abstract: 
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Belarus has maintained a largely non-market economic system. This did not prevent rapid growth of its economy over a sustained period up to 2011. However, the period of economic growth in Belarus seems to be over. The factors that underpinned Belarus’s growth, mainly the beneficial external environment, have gradually disappeared. As a result, the country is confronted by the need to start the far-reaching programme of market-oriented economic reforms and macroeconomic stabilisation which it tried to avoid for so long. Reform will not be easy, economically and politically. The potential hardship facing Belarus could be at least partly cushioned by external assistance, in the first instance from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. However, the IMF has relatively fresh memories of the failure of its 2009-10 Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with Belarus, which provided substantial balance-of-payments support, but which was derailed by its too-narrow focus on monetary and fiscal quantitative performance criteria, and by insufficient reform commitment on the Belarusian side. Other donors, such as the European Union, might be reluctant to offer assistance as long as Belarus does not improve its poor human rights record and start some political reforms. In this analysis, we describe the characteristics of Belarus’s economic model, explain how the Belarus growth ‘miracle’ was possible, why it cannot be continued, the reforms that are needed and why they might be difficult to implement and, finally, what the chances are, and what the conditions might be, under which Belarus could obtain external support.
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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