Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with NBRB Chief Nadezhda Yermakova

    President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko heard out a report from Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) Nadezhda Yermakova on 11 April.

    The head of state was informed about the situation on the currency market and the banking industry. The affordability of loans for individuals and corporations was dsicussed as well.

    The President drew attention to the complicated financial and economic situation in the world, which in turns affects the dynamics of foreign trade. “It is particularly relevant for our traditional markets. Russia has slumped a bit and the European Union is feverish. Therefore, it is necessary to find new markets to sell our products,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. “In these complicated conditions the National Bank secures the positions we had in better times and even adds to them”.

    The head of state mentioned the reduction of the inflation rate. He remarked that in some cases price growth had been related to administrative measures. “It is a threshold we should have overcome. But later on I will ask very tough questions regarding inflation, price growth,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko. “Today economic entities enjoy very good profits, profitability. An increase in prices is not relevant. Moreover, the exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble is at a decent level”.

    The President instructed the NBRB head to pay more attention to matters of inflation and price growth. “You have the relevant levers, you use them as you should, but if inflation is high, what development we can talk about?” wondered Aleksandr Lukashenko.

    In his words, the fact that in Q1 2013 corporations and individuals sold more foreign currency than they bought is a good indicator in the complicated foreign economic conditions.

    The head of state remarked that the government and the National Bank had been tasked with analyzing the situation in the national economy after the first quarter and detecting possible negative trends as well as ways to deal with them.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko also underlined that the funding for the forthcoming sowing campaign should not affect the balanced growth of the country’s economy. “I would like to warn you. No matter how hard it can be, it doesn’t mean we can now ‘untie the sack’ and invest huge money in the sowing campaign or something else. Everything should go as normal. The economy cannot be held hostage of the sowing campaign. It is mandatory,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko.

    Nadezhda Yermakova informed the head of state that a stable situation is now observed on the Belarusian financial market. She attributed the result not only to efforts of the central bank but also to the performance of the entire national economy. “The situation on the currency market is calm and we see no reasons for worrying,” said the National Bank head.

    Nadezhda Yermakova informed that the inflow of foreign currency into Belarus had increased, with more foreign currency sold via the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange.
    The NBRB head also informed the President about the gradual reduction of interest rates on loans in Belarusian rubles. Meanwhile, the share of troubled loans in the banking system is not rising.