Aleksandr Lukashenko hears out report of NBRB chief Nadezhda Yermakova

    On 19 July President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) Nadezhda Yermakova to receive her report. The meeting focused on the operation of the national banking industry, the situation on the financial market and the currency one.

    The head of state remarked that the situation in the Belarus economy just like in the rest of the world is not simple, however, it is no catastrophe, the finished goods inventory is being reduced gradually, and money from sales keeps coming. “A foreign trade surplus has been secured. It is very good in the situation that is evolving in our foreign trade,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

    The recent visit of the Belarusian delegation to the People’s Republic of China is expected to secure additional economic benefits. Bilateral agreements worth a total of about $1.5 billion were reached during the visit. The sides also intend to step up investment cooperation, which is already estimated at billions of US dollars. “Chinese partners have promised that we will not have any problems with investments. They have the money and would like to invest in our economy,” noted the head of state.

    “We should follow the policy we have determined. In no way should we do something artificial. We shouldn’t tame, devaluate, nationalize, or privatize. We should follow our promised policy. Individuals and corporations should understand that if the demand is large, then the price is higher. If the demand is low or non-existent, then the price is lower, including the price for foreign exchange. Money is just another commodity,” stressed the President.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko said he wanted the NBRB head to evaluate whether the banking industry and the financial industry can come up with consistent efforts to fulfill the major guidelines for social and economic development, including taking into account the harvesting campaign that has begun. At the same time the President warned against emission-based lending to the economy: “Printing some huge sums and injecting the economy with them is out of the question”.

    The NBRB head said that the situation on the financial and currency markets as well as the overall banking industry remains stable. The banking system is capable of fulfilling its functions of lending to the economy and servicing the population, including foreign currency sales. The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus regularly examines the situation in currency exchange offices. “Although some try to make it look like there are queues, the situation is normal. Banks are doing their job, there is enough foreign currency, including cash,” stated Nadezhda Yermakova. “There are also sufficient resources for replenishing the gold and foreign exchange reserves and honoring debt commitments”.

    In her words, in the sphere of foreign trade accounts receivable are going down while foreign currency earnings in June exceeded foreign currency earnings of the previous month.

    Nadezhda Yermakova spoke in positive terms about prospects of the development of Belarus-China investment cooperation. “A lot of contracts have been signed, including export ones, investment ones, contracts to manufacture merchandise in Belarus and export it,” said the NBRB head.

    The matter of getting an untied loan from China to replenish Belarus’ gold and foreign exchange reserves was also discussed. “We hope that the matter will be driven to logical conclusion at the meeting of the prime ministers of our countries,” said Nadezhda Yermakova.

    The Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus also informed the President about efforts to optimize the number of civil servants. The National Bank has reduced its staff by 26%. “As far as the new composition of the National Bank management is concerned, we have made the right decision by making it younger,” remarked Nadezhda Yermakova.