Expert: Prakapovich has a limited understanding of crisis
The chairman of the board of the National Bank Piotr Prakapovich believes that economic growth will be 10 – 12% in 2010. The independent economist Leanid Zaika, however, accounts such far too optimistic prognoses for "a limited understanding of the crisis".
"Today we already see that this is a real option. An advance economic growth in 2010 is possible due to a higher level of foreign investment mobilisation; we should also learn to sell more than buy", said Piotr Prakapovich at the press conference on 29 October.
The head of the Analytical Centre Strategy Leanid Zaika does not share the optimism of the National Bank chairman.
"As a professional economist I think it is just a political statement, a propaganda statement", said the expert in the interview with www.udf.by.
Mr. Zaika realises that the world economy is not able to renew its growth rates fast enough. Belarus’ economy depends on external markets. Prakapovic’s optimistic statements would be justified if the increase of demand in Russia by 10% could be expected. But the demand will most likely remain the same as in this year, said the economist.
The production of Belarusian tractors is brought into play on 60%, while that of automobiles – less than on 50%. One cannot count that Moldova, Ukraine, or Russia will suddenly start buying two – three times more Belarusian equipment than before, the economist believes.
"So we can increase the demand on the internal market, including by money emission. But this stimulates slight economic activity. External growth factors are, however, still very limited."
Leanid Zaika does not believe in the growth of domestic economy due to foreign investment as well. According to him, Belarus has nowhere to invest. Under the depressive economy, slump in demand and production, investment will be necessary on the next stage – that of recovery.
"Nowadays economists and businessmen all over the world are very cautious with investment. Money should be invested only in the projects that increase sales. These projects are not numerous. Who will buy new Belarusian tractors when those already produced are not sold? Who will invest in potassium production when its buying has decreased? That is why there is nothing more stupid than to rely on foreign investment in the time of overall decrease of demand on world markets and on the domestic market", states the expert.
The economist’s projection of economic development of Belarus in 2010 is far less optimistic than the promises of the chairman of the National Bank.
"If there is growth of dynamics by 2-3%, then that will be all right. If it is about 4%, then we can entitle the Prime-Minister Hero of Belarus".
It should be reminded that the government has drawn up two draft projections of the social and economic development for 2010: a basic one with the GDP growth by 2-3% and target one with the GDP growth by 10-12%.