GDP, current US$ billion
GDP per capita, current US$
School Enrollment, primary (% gross) (2015)
Life Expectancy at Birth, years (2015)
After several years of slowing growth, increased macroeconomic volatility, and balance-of-payments pressure, the Belarusian economy entered a recession in 2015, the first since 1995. Economic activity continues to stagnate, driven by the contraction in Russia, lower export revenues, and domestic structural problems. GDP growth is expected to pick up to only 0.5% in 2018, driven by some improvement in the external environment and the early effects of competitiveness-enhancing policies.
The Government worked with the World Bank to produce a Roadmap for Structural Reforms in Belarus (March 2015), which subsequently provided the basis for a loan program with the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD) and discussions on a prospective International Monetary Fund (IMF) program.
The Government-approved 2016–2020 Action Plan aims to regain competitiveness, reduce vulnerability to external shocks, and restore economic growth. Planned measures include a further reduction in government-directed lending, the establishment of a toxic assets management agency in agriculture, the introduction of modern corporate governance practices for SOEs, the strengthening of the anti-monopoly functions, negotiations for World Trade Organization (WTO) accession, and further increases in utility tariffs to reach full cost recovery.
Major challenges for Belarus include bringing the economy back to a robust and sustainable growth path, improving enterprise performance, especially in the public sector, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), and ensuring that efficient labor market and social protection systems are in place.