Modeling Economic Growth in Contemporary Belarus

Cover of Modeling Economic Growth in Contemporary Belarus

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(22 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xlv
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Abstract

This chapter discusses the positioning of Belarus in the international context of socioeconomic development based on an assessment of the country's dynamics in world rankings. The country's presence in the recognized world rankings and its holding high positions in them is an obvious advantage for achieving a favorable investment image. Ratings characterize the country's comparative position at the international level in a number of areas: from credit capacity to human capital development.

There has been analyzed the position of the Republic of Belarus in several recognized international comparisons, such as Human Development Index, Doing Business, ICT Development Index, Global Innovation Index, Sustainable Development Goals Index, Corruption Perceptions Index, Rule of Law Index, Worldwide Governance Indicators, and others.

However, Belarus is not yet participating in the international competitiveness assessment through such popular international ratings as Global Competitiveness Index and Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. The research findings show that the strongest aspects of the socioeconomic development of Belarus are in place due to the high educational level of the human capital development, gender equality, and the implementation of the UN sustainable development goals. The analysis also shows that the weaknesses of institutional environment and public administration do not enable the full implementation of the planned goals of socioeconomic development.

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Financial technology or FinTech companies are relatively new players in the market. The ideas of alternative options to banks were widely discussed since October 2008 when Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Since this topic is not yet thoroughly studied and investigated, it especially appeals to the author to elaborate on that topic and follow the evolution and development of FinTech as well as its influence over banks. Without no doubt there will be brought up probable limitations and challenges that could decelerate the advancement of fresh alternative to traditional banking. The development of technology in the financial sector has led to the formation of a new financial and technological ecosystem. Revolutionary innovations in the field of financial services arise in the interaction of both organizations among themselves and organizations with customers. In the interaction between organizations, new companies appear that develop and offer technologies in the field of payment services at a lower price and on more favorable terms, unlike financial organizations.

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This chapter describes development and main achievements of the Belarusian IT sector which is today considered by experts to be the most promising and progressive part of the national economy. Special attention of the analysis is given to the governmental policy to stimulate information and communication technology sector growth through special legal regulations (e.g., High-Tech Park as favorable business environment for IT business since 2005) and efforts to promote transition of Belarus to the “IT country” through number of national programs and legislative instruments, including the President's Decree on Digital Economy Development (2017). Main scenarios of the Belarusian IT sector future development are proposed and analyzed, including risks and opportunities on such four paths as being the global IT development outsourcing provider; exponentially growing own software product companies; becoming the regional or even global cryptocurrency hub; integrating IT in all parts of the domestic economy in order to build Industry 4.0 and digital society.

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This chapter focuses on the analysis of sectoral structure of the economy of the Republic of Belarus as well as on its structure by forms of ownership. The role of industry in national economy is highlighted. Dynamics and problems of its development are analyzed. It is shown that the share of services in GDP increases, while the share of manufacturing declines. Absolute size and share of the manufacturing employment trends down. The ongoing process of ownership structure transformation and the growing share of private and foreign ownership are featured. State-owned enterprises along with private enterprises with a state share comprise two-thirds of total industrial output, but this share is gradually shrinking. The industrial policy is viewed as an enabling factor of the country's economic development. Considerable attention is paid to the analysis of industrial policy of the Republic of Belarus, its goals and instruments as well as regulations. It is noted that the role of government in regulating the industrial structure of the economy is significant.

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This chapter considers world experience of the innovation sector transformation and describes results of the Belarusian innovation infrastructure development and transformation issues in the national economy. Suggestions on the ways and mechanisms focused on the efficiency improvement of innovation sector transformation on the basis of clusters and innovation networks in Belarus are presented.

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Section 6.1 explores the prerequisites for the formation and features of the development of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Republic of Belarus, which is a complex of scientifically grounded directions for solving national problems that are closely interrelated with world development. During the years of the state sovereignty of Belarus, three national strategies of sustainable development were developed and adopted by the government. The strategic goal of sustainable development in the latter national strategy is to ensure high living standards of the population and conditions for the harmonious development of the individual through the transition to a highly efficient economy based on knowledge and innovation, while maintaining a favorable environment for current and future generations. The objectives of sustainable development, defined in the strategy for the first five years, are detailed in the National Action Plan for the Development of a Green Economy in the Republic of Belarus until 2020.

In Section 6.2, it is noted that the green economy is becoming a new engine of growth, contributes to the creation of decent jobs, and is a vital factor in the eradication of poverty and destitution. The main factors of the transition to a green economy and the main directions of its development in the Republic of Belarus are outlined.

In Section 6.3 the features of the concept of circular economy and the formation of business models for its implementation are analyzed. The study concluded that the concept of sustainable development is a theoretical model of the desired future of mankind, and the green and circular economies provide very specific projects for the practical implementation of the sustainable development paradigm.

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In this chapter, characteristic of the fuel and energy sector of Republic of Belarus; its organizational structure; the current state of development of power, gas, peat, and oil industries are given. The energy balance of the country and the main power streams is analyzed. Characteristic of key indicators of energy security is presented. The main threats connected with ensuring energy security of Republic of Belarus are allocated. In particular, the characteristic of the directions of reducing the energy dependence of the Republic of Belarus on the supply of natural gas from the Russian Federation is presented. Dynamics of power consumption of GDP is analyzed. Potential of use of renewable and local energy resources, complexity and prospect of their further integration into the Belarusian power system are considered. The prospects of development of nuclear power of Republic of Belarus are described. The advantages and disadvantages connected with input of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in operation are designated. The perspective directions of sustainable power development of Republic of Belarus till 2035 are revealed.

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The agro-industrial complex (AIC) of Belarus is one of the priority sectors of the national economy, which performs economic, social, environmental and cultural functions. The main trends in the development of the industry on modern business conditions are presented in the section. The goals, objectives, and mechanisms for the implementation of the state programs of development of the AIC are analyzed. The directions and measures of state support for agriculture are reasonable, the actual structure of the “green box” and “yellow box” measures is presented. Approaches and mechanisms to ensure national food security are highlighted in the light of new conditions, goals, and objectives. The results of the foreign trade in agricultural products of Belarus and rural development and social infrastructure of the village are presented. Scenarios for the development of agriculture in Belarus, taking into account national priorities in the field of agricultural production, the domestic consumer market, foreign trade, have been developed.

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The purpose of this chapter is to describe and analyze the economic advantage of the geographical location of the Republic of Belarus. The current state of the Belarusian logistics system is analyzed in detail in the chapter. Thus effects of each direction of transportations are analyzed and also approaches to assessment of their cost efficiency are formulated. The factors influencing the export of transport services as well as the development of trends in the transport sector of Belarus are defined. The main directions and ways of improvement of logistics in the Republic of Belarus are described.

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The development of the tourism and hospitality industry in Belarus has a long-term positive trend. This process is uneven and the growth rate is below the global average. To stimulate the development of the tourism and hospitality industry, measures are being taken in the form of creating visa-free zones, stimulating business activity, holding major sport events. The potential for growth in this industry has not yet been exhausted. The assessment of the competitiveness of Belarus in comparison with the neighboring countries showed that the development of the tourism and hospitality industry requires improvement of the business environment, increase of openness for tourists, strengthening of country marketing in the world tourism market.

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The current state and development of education system in Belarus are considered. It includes preschool, general secondary, vocational, secondary special and higher education, as well as supplementary education for children and further education for adults, including nonformal education. The gross enrollment rate in secondary education (ISCED Level 2 and 3) as a share to the population at the corresponding age was 102.9% in 2015, and the enrollment rate in tertiary education (ISCED Levels 5–8) showed 93.8%. The role of universities in creating the Belarus National Innovation System is shown. The main direction of improving the activities of higher education institutions based on the “University 3.0” model is considered. The Belarussian universities actively develop their innovation infrastructure (they form their own training and research centers, research and production laboratories, centers of cooperation with enterprises, career development centers for students and startup schools). During last years 14 sectoral laboratories and 6 science technological parks were established on the basis of Belarusian universities. Belarusian universities, while determining their own development trajectory, are guided by their main mission – to promote innovation and human capital formation – for the sustainable social and economic development of the country.

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The purpose of the chapter is to provide insight into public–private partnership (PPP) specifics and the role of PPPs within the social innovation framework in the Republic of Belarus. It is necessary to justify the implementation of new approaches toward the development and evaluation of PPPs considering the importance of PPPs in developing economies.

Methods: A systematic approach to the observation, analysis and synthesis, comparisons, methods of investment analysis, statistical and economic techniques, and optimization methods. These methods allow to observe the most significant features of the PPPs which have been developed in the Republic of Belarus.

Approach: The theme of the research was carried out within the framework of the legislation “The priority areas of scientific research in 2016–2020” approved by the resolution No 190 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of 03.12.2015.

The study examines the trends on PPP development in the Republic of Belarus and determines the role of PPPs in social innovations. The analysis of the current state of PPPs has been carried out. A set of problems related to the introduction of specific PPP instruments has been identified in the chapter.

Findings: The scientific novelty and significance of the results lies in the methodological justification for the formation of an effective organizational and economic mechanism in order to implement PPPs in the Republic of Belarus. The essence and novelty of the proposal lies in the adjustment of financial instruments relevant to the evaluation of PPP proposals, which make it possible to provide the necessary information to be successful. The scientific novelty includes the reintroduction of social innovation factors as the important evaluation merit in the implementation process in order to increase PPP impact on the economy.

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The administrative structure of the Republic of Belarus; the main demographic, social, and economic problems currently encountered in regions, districts, cities, and other administrative divisions of the country; as well as trends and changes in regional development according to the statistics of spatial development of Belarus over the last quarter of a century have been considered. The legal and institutional framework established in Belarus for the formation, implementation, and improvement of the regional policy, as well as the related forms of state intervention in regional development (policies to minimize the effects of radioactive contamination in areas affected by the Chernobyl accident, environmental protection, town-planning and land-use policies) have been analyzed. The goals and objectives, subjects and objects, as well as the tools used by the Belarusian public authorities in the regional policy formation and implementation nationwide have been identified. The promising trends for its improvement pursued in Belarus have been formulated taking into account the foreign experience and the paradigm shift of regional development policy observed in the OECD member countries.

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Smart Cities

Pages 223-233
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Informatization of all human activities is reflected in areas of the Republic of Belarus economy. And although the concept of “smart” cities is not formulated as a standard or regulation for any city of Belarus, the main indicators of urban services and the quality of life indicate a high degree of territories development in the direction of automating the urban environment management, energy saving, and improving social services quality for the population. Due to high proportion of the population living in the cities of the Republic of Belarus the development and implementation of the smart city concept both for the city of Minsk and other cities will improve the quality of life of almost 80% population. All the prerequisites at the level of technology development and the availability of information resources and specialists, the smart city concept has already been created from the government bodies and the population point of view.

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The chapter analyses the international economic specialization of the Republic of Belarus based on the balance of payments and national statistics data by type of economic activity. It also demonstrates application of the customized Trade in Value Added methodology for analysis of the international economic specialization of Belarus. The methodology has been developed for the calculation of selected key figures for 2011–2016. Using of “Input–Output” tables to measure intersectoral relationships enabled assessment of the international trade not only in terms of prices of goods and services, but in terms of value added of each product. The analysis shows that the most important industries of the international economic specialization of Belarus are oil products, chemical products, food stuffs, equipment and vehicles, transport services, computer services. Domestic value added share of exports is about 60%, which corresponds to the level of such countries of Central and Eastern Europe as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Poland. Consequently, import intensity of exports accounts for about 40%. The results of the study have allowed to assess the interrelation between production, exports, and economic growth and to provide recommendations ensuring a deficit-free balance of payments.

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The chapter analyzes the modern features of the movement of foreign investments and the participation of the Republic of Belarus in this process. Trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in the context of different countries and the structure of investment capital in our country have been considered. A greater priority in attracting investments in large projects in the form of equity participation compared to debt instruments and profits refinancing has been justified. The largest projects with foreign investments as well as features of outgoing FDI have been considered. The activities of foreign transnational corporations and the factors hindering the internationalization of business activity of domestic enterprises have been studied in detail. The priority areas of government in activities to promote the attraction of FDI to the Republic of Belarus have been analyzed.

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This chapter is devoted to the issue of ensuring financial stability in the state. The main goal of the research is to determine the role and policy of the National (Central) Bank, which was called up, together with the Government, to ensure financial stability in the Republic of Belarus. The actions of the National Bank for the implementation of monetary policy, macroprudential regulation, and supervision are reviewed. It is noted that the regulation and supervision of banks, nonbank credit and financial organizations, the payment system, the sector of other financial intermediaries (leasing activities, microfinance activities, activities of forex companies) is carried out by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus. The main practical actions of the Government and the National Bank aimed at maintaining and ensuring financial stability is highlighted: monitoring of financial stability (goals, tasks, objects, monitoring directions are defined); creation of the Financial Stability Board (goals, objectives, representation, personal responsibility); disclosure of information on financial stability is carried out on an ongoing basis – the publication of the analytical review “Financial Stability in the Republic of Belarus.” The research provided a summary of the state of the country's financial sector and presented the achievements of the National Bank and state institutions for ensuring financial stability. The main problems affecting financial stability are highlighted: insufficient efficiency of the activities of large enterprises of the real sector of the economy; high levels of credit risk in banks; high dollarization of bank balance sheets. The directions of development of the financial market of the Republic of Belarus, contributing to ensuring financial stability are presented.

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Fiscal policy is one of the weighty instruments of state regulation and is intended to ensure the creation of an institutional environment to reach the strategic objectives of sustainable development. This chapter is devoted to the study of the implementation of tax reform in Belarus. It analyzes the place of tax instruments in economic growth and investigates the strategic direction of tax reforms. The actual tax policy in Belarus is determined by the requirements of the national strategy of sustainable development which aims to ensure a stable financial basis for the development of society, economy, and environmental management. The historical and economic conditions of Belarus require an assessment of the local peculiarities of the use of tax instruments, which are now in force in leading countries. Therefore the study of foreign experience is complemented by an analysis of local conditions. Tax policy must ensure and support changes in national economies related to globalization, informatization and digitalization of the modern world, while maintaining the ideas of social justice. As a theoretical and practical tool for improving the quality of the tax system through the modernization of the incentives system, the concept of tax expenditures as a part of the budget process was investigated.

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The analysis of the main stages of the Belarusian economy's development from 2000 to 2018 has been carried out, the main factors and limitations of economic growth considered. The known models of economic growth applied to the Belarusian economy are shown. It is grounded that the correct use of endogenous growth models based on production functions is hampered by the significant influence of exogenous factors on the Belarusian economy, and it is more preferable to use models based on the balance of payments under these conditions. The methodology for modeling the balanced economic growth based on Input–Output tables' data is proposed, the results of its use are shown. Three scenarios for the growth of the Belarusian economy until 2025 are analyzed: baseline, adverse, and target; the desired structural changes are identified for the implementation of the target scenario.

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Abstracts

This chapter identifies features of foreign economic policy of the Republic of Belarus determined by its multidirectional external economic relations and participation in the processes of international economic integration.

It is noted that in the last decade there has been an active search for opportunities to shift the focus in foreign economic policy, including geographic redirection of trade and investment flows, intensification of the search for a “niche” and new ways of incorporating into the world economic relations system, progress toward the liberalization of trade relations by means of multilateral and bilateral interaction formats.

This section assesses the motivation for the boost of the foreign economic policy of the Republic of Belarus in the context of aggravated geopolitical situation and the growth of protectionist tendencies and identifies obstacles to its implementation.

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Index

Pages 341-347
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Cover of Modeling Economic Growth in Contemporary Belarus
DOI
10.1108/9781838676957
Publication date
2019-11-08
Book series
Entrepreneurship and Global Economic Growth
Editor
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-83867-695-7