MINSK, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Belarus expects a new program from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich said on Monday when meeting with IMF mission head David Hofman here in Minsk.
"Taking into account a lot of work that has been done, Belarus can expect a new program with the IMF," Myasnikovich said.
The Prime Minister stressed that the IMF had an opportunity to make sure that the government and the National Bank have been putting consistent efforts into stabilizing the economy.
"We have achieved a deficit-free budget and have secured a growth of the gold and foreign exchange reserves. At the same time we fully service the foreign debt and planned budget appropriations. If we look at the balance of the foreign trade, we have a surplus. Even if different approaches are used, we still rather successfully export industrial and agricultural goods," Myasnikovich added.
Hofman said the authorities' tightening of economic policies from late 2011 was successful in reducing inflation and stabilizing the foreign exchange market during the first half of 2012.
"However, the swift reduction in the refinancing rate and high real wage growth that followed this early success are now contributing to renewed signs of price and exchange rate pressures. These pressures call for a strong and coherent policy response to ensure that economic stability is preserved," Hofman said.
"The IMF continues to work closely with the authorities to assist them in meeting the economic policy challenges. Negotiations on a possible new program would require agreement among all policy makers - including at the highest level - on a comprehensive policy package that garners sufficient support among the IMF membership. Such a package would need to include coherent policies that safeguard macroeconomic stability and a commitment to deep structural reform," IMF mission head said in a statement.
The IMF mission started working in Belarus on October 18. The mission was designed to conduct the third post-program monitoring of the Belarusian economy. The mission's report will be discussed by the IMF Board of Directors. Hofman's visit was supposed to give an opportunity to the Belarusian authorities and IMF officials to discuss the economic policy of the Belarusian government and national economy development prospects in 2013.
Earlier, Belarus wanted to borrow up to 8 billion U.S. dollars from the IMF, but the IMF said it wanted to see more reforms of the state-dominated economy.