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Five-year plan: Belarus to focus on GDP growth, regional development

MINSK (BelTA) – Economy Minister Aleksandr Chervyakov spoke about Belarus' plans for GDP growth and regions' development within the next five years in an interview to Belarus 1 TV channel, BelTA has learned.

Belarus' GDP is projected to grow by 21.5% by 2025. “We should always set a high bar and do our best to reach it. I would not say that these plans are too high. The global average GDP growth rate is about 3-5% in various states. If you look at our economy, the plans for the next five years are for the growth of 4-4.5% per year. We must meet this target. To do this, we are building an appropriate growth program,” said Aleksandr Chervyakov.

The minister also touched upon the topic of regional development. “Strong regions are one of the priorities in the country's social and economic development program. The economy is formed by people in the workplaces. The more efficient the jobs in the regions are, the higher the productivity will be, the more attractive they will be for our people. The first task is to create conditions for the emergence of enterprises with high-productive jobs in the regions, with a certain level of wages. This is the first factor to reduce migration from the regions to Minsk and other major cities or abroad,” he said.

The second important point is the living conditions in the regions. “This year we plan to develop standards of comfortable living. These are not minimum social standards, this is another level of comfort. We will analyze our previous steps (agro-towns, village of the future) to develop these standards. Of course, we need certain infrastructure,” Aleksandr Chervyakov said.

The minister also assessed the impact of digitalization on employment. “Digitalization, which we will be implementing at almost all enterprises, carries certain risks for the reduction of workers. Already today we have to think about what we will occupy these people with. The structure of working professions will be transformed: the number of those employed in physical labor will decrease, while the number of those employed in intellectual labor will increase. Therefore, one of the priorities that we have laid down in the social and economic development program is smart Belarus. Today we already need to start forming a layer of workers who will be engaged in servicing our robots, programming, and other intellectual labor,” he stressed.