Raising Awareness About The Transition (2012)

Raising Awareness About The Transition (2012)

Project reference
In 2012 CASE Belarus was operating a project titled “Raising Awareness About The Transition To Market Economy Among Young Professionals In Belarus” within Polish Aid 2012 programme. The aim of the project was the formation and assistance of Belarusian centres that gather competent professionals in the field of economic transition and impact evaluation of market economy institutions.

Project name: Raising Awareness About The Transition To Market Economy Among Young Professionals In Belarus

Project duration: June 2012 – December 2012

Background
More than 20 years ago Belarus announced independence and began the economic transformation. However, the market transformation in Belarus is not always consistently implemented, and further structural reforms are often internally inconsistent.
The majority of the society, particular its young and educated part, understands that a market economy is more efficient than a centrally planned economy. The general public understands also that the private sector, particularly small and medium enterprises, is the basis for sustainable economic growth. Many civil servants in the state apparatus at the highest level share this judgment.
Nevertheless, the current process of privatization and economic liberalization – the necessary conditions for market transformation, has proceeded very slowly. However, current trends in the Belarusian economy and international environment indicate that the Belarusian government will not be able to keep the old model of the economy that is built in 70% by the state sector. There is no doubt that market reforms will be accelerated, among others due to external factors.
Unfortunately, this process may encounter unexpected barriers in the form of insufficient knowledge about the market transition among the majority of the officials. It should be noticed that many officials are not familiar with the principles of many market institutions, incl. specialized state agencies which should be responsible for reforms in various sectors of the economy.
This shortage can be supplemented by knowledge and recommendations of better educated professionals, and also by cognition of the experience in privatization and liberalization in other countries. The economy transition in Poland may be favorably used in Belarus, particularly it concerns the institutional aspect of the reform.
Therefore, we believe that in the next years the essential role for the economic reforms will have the formation and assistance of Belarusian centres that gather competent professionals in the field of economic transition and impact evaluation of market economy institutions. Such a centre in Belarus is the Liberal Club. 

Objective
The aim of the project was the formation and assistance of Belarusian centres that gather competent professionals in the field of economic transition and impact evaluation of market economy institutions.

Results
1. Transfer of the experience in market transition in other post-socialist countries to young professionals and students from Belarus. Around 20 selected participants from Minsk and regions deepened their knowledge on possibility of market transition in Belarus, its potential benefits and costs, and ways of market reforms implementation  in several sectors of the economy on the example of other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The workshop programme contained 9 lectures (27 academic hours) during three weekend  cycles from Belarusian and Polish experts.
2. Two best participants of workshop programme were selected for intensive internship in CASE office in Warsaw.
3. The development of interpersonal relations between the Polish and Belarusian researchers (lecturers) in the field of economic transition.
4. Publishing officially in Minsk a book called “On the way to economic growth: potential of market institutions development in Belarus”. The book consists of 8 articles  which represent the analysis of role and prospects for the development of certain market-based institutions.

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