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Belarus to reopen talks on IMF new program in spring 2013

MINSK, 26 December (BelTA) - Belarus is planning to reopen talks on the new loan program with the International Monetary Fund in the spring of 2013, Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) Nadezhda Yermakova said during the Q&A phone session and an online conference hosted by BelTA.

“The IMF does not rule out a new program. However, much remains to be done to harmonize the terms of the loan program with the IMF, taking into account the interests of Belarus, enlisting the broad support from the board members. We are planning to discuss our future actions in this area with the IMF in the spring of 2013,” said Nadezhda Yermakova.

“The new program with the IMF should be considered not only as the harmonization of certain actions and loans, but primarily as a positive signal that could significantly enhance the investment appeal of Belarus,” noted Nadezhda Yermakova.

According to her, this year the Government of Belarus and the National Bank have implemented consistent measures to stabilize the economy and the currency and consumer markets in the country. “The IMF supported such actions and welcomed the further plans aimed primarily at ensuring macroeconomic stabilization of the economy, further reducing the inflation, increasing the competitiveness of Belarusian goods and improving the foreign trade balance,” Nadezhda Yermakova added.

“At present, cooperation with the IMF is carried out within the framework of regular visits of IMF missions for assessment of the situation in our country in the post-program period, including issues of monetary, foreign exchange, price and fiscal management. The IMF also provides the National Bank with technical assistance in key areas,” said Nadezhda Yermakova.

Between January 2009 and April 2010 Belarus implemented a standby program backed by a $3.6 billion IMF loan. The Belarusian side has repeatedly stated its interest in implementing a new program with the International Monetary Fund. Before starting the new loan program with Belarus the IMF wants the firm commitment of the Belarusian authorities to a comprehensive and coherent package of policy measures and structural reforms.