The approved GDP growth forecast in 2014 amounts to 3.3%
On December 31, the presidential decree No. 585 ‘On the key parameters of the forecast of the socio-economic development of the Republic of Belarus in 2014’ was signed.
For the first time in the course of the last few years relatively low forecast indicators of the GDP growth were adopted, and the final version of the governmental forecast as regards GDP was not elevated. This fact testifies that there is an understanding of the fallacy of artificial stimulation of economy in order to meet forecast figures, which, against the backdrop of the existing situation in economy, may lead to the rapid development of critical phenomena, similarly to what happened in 2011. The forecast is optimistic, a number of parameters are practically unfeasible and built upon inflated expectations of prospects in export. Business executives may enjoy more autonomy in terms of economic activity free of sanctions for non-compliance with quantitative indicators.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.