Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center

Which Growth Rate does Belarus need? Focus on CEE Leaders

This paper deals with the prospects of Belarus’ economic growth in regional context. Suchfocusofanalysisemphasizesrelativelevelofwell-being as the benchmark for assessing economic performance of the country. In this study, I use Czech Republic and Slovakia as benchmarks for Belarus, as they are rather similar to Belarus according to a range of fundamental characteristics, and at the same time, they are among leaders on well-being level in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The study shows that in recent years growth in Belarus has lost synchrony with CEE countries. This have changed a long-term trend in relative well-being level of Belarus: lagging has replaced catching-up CEE leaders. Moreover, if poor growth in Belarus persists, low relative level of well-being either will be frozen or even it will reduce further. For avoiding such scenario Belarus needs to strengthen it growth potential. I provide assessments forrelationships between growth rate in Belarus and time required for closing the well-being gap vs. CEE leaders. Among these options, I select a kind of compromise between economic ambitions of Belarus and reality. This approach produces tentative targets for output growth in Belarus: 6% in medium-term perspective (around 10 years) and 5% in longer-term (around 20 years) perspective.

The policy paper is available only in Russian.