IMF slams Belarus' growth forecasts

  • 2002-09-26

Experts from the International Monetary Fund slammed the optimistic plans and macroeconomic failures of impoverished Belarus as they wound down a visit last week.

The Minsk government and the IMF's expert team could not agree on "a single one of the most important macroeconomic parameters," including GDP growth, foreign investment, export volumes or inflation, mission chief Thomas Richardson said.

"It is good to be optimistic, but if one has to set up a precise program of financial and credit administration, it is not these figures that should be the basis for it," Richardson said.

The IMF would not resume loans to Belarus as none of the conditions set forth by the monitoring program earlier this year were met, Richardson added.

However, the IMF was willing to "consult the national bank and the government," mainly to help overcome rampant inflation which "remains high in Belarus, unlike other former Soviet states."

The IMF last offered credits to Belarus in 1995, and its general cooperation with Minsk came to a halt last year because the regime of President Alexander Lukashenko had shown itself unwilling to support private business and ease government regulations.