We recorded four videos with the Eastern European economic reformers from Slovakia, Bulgaria, Poland and Ukraine about what of the economic reforms from their countries is relevant for Belarus today.
CASE Belarus and the Center for New Ideas (Belarus) with the support of CASE (Poland), MESA10 (Slovakia), Kyiv School of Economics (Ukraine), Cato Institute (USA), Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Germany) and Atlas Network initiated a series of webinars “Belarusian Economic Prospects. Conversations with Experienced Reformers” in the form of interviews of Belarusian economists with prominent reformers from post-socialist countries who share their experiences.
When: November-December, 2020
Speaker: Ivan Mikloš, Slovakia
We open this cycle with a conversation with Ivan Mikloš, President of the Slovak think tank MESA10 interviewed by Dzmitry Kruk, Senior Research Associate at BEROC Economic Research Center. Ivan Mikloš previously served as Deputy Prime Minister for Economy between 1998 and 2002, Slovakia’s Minister of Finance from 2002 to 2006, as well as the former Minister of Finance of Slovakia (2010–2012).
5:15 What is the role of the government in the economy?
7:08 Why are reforms more a political challenge than a technical one?
9:45 What are the most important challenges for future reforms in Belarus?
15:59 How important was the geopolitical choice for the Central and Eastern European countries?
17:35 Why is the East Asian model of economic development not suitable for Belarus?
25:26 How effective are the Belarusian authorities in the top-down implementation of the development path?
31:15 What preconditions are essential for successful economic reforms in Belarus and Ukraine?
36:20 What advice can you give to Belarusians?
Speaker: Krassen Stanchev, Bulgaria
2:10 How does the political crisis affect the country’s economy?
4:38 If the current situation lasts for several years, how will this affect the welfare of Belarusians?
7:50 What system of government in Belarus is beneficial for Russia?
10:23 Does the EU financial program of support for Belarus make sense?
19:34 How can EU countries simultaneously apply sanctions and remove barriers to trade with Belarus?
22:13 Could the current economic system lead to political change?
26:37 With what country’s experience could you compare the current situation in Belarus?
29:58 Is it possible to refinance the public debt of Belarus?
31:53 Is there a possibility of default in Belarus?
Speaker: Leszek Balcerowicz, Poland
Our guest is Leszek Balcerowicz, the author of the Polish market reforms, later called the “Balcerowicz plan”. In 1989 Balcerowicz became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in the first democratic government of Poland. Since then, he has twice become Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Chairman of the National Bank of Poland. The interview is conducted by Aleś Alachnovič, Vice-President of CASE Belarus.
2:30 Is the first democratic government a kind of “suicides”? Were you ready for this in 1989?
7:39 What determines the success of the reforms?
11:43 What needs to be done to make the reforms sustainable?
13:33 How much easier or more difficult is it to reform the Belarusian economy in 2020 than in 1991 or the Polish one in 1989?
17:36 How to prevent the emergence of oligarchs as a result of reforms?
20:54 What is the reason for the appearance of oligarchs in Russia and Ukraine and their absence in Poland?
22:35 Was the desire to join the European Union an anchor that stabilized the implementation of reforms?
24:50 How important was the support of international financial institutions and foreign countries for Poland?
27:57 How significant was the help of the diaspora?
29:20 How can the Belarusian diaspora help?
30:06 Advice to the Belarusian society
Speaker: Tymofei Milovanov, Ukraine
The guest of the last webinar is Tymofiy Mylovanov, President of the Kyiv School of Economics, Deputy Head of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine in 2016-2019, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine in 2019-2020. The interview is moderated by Katerina Bornukova, Academic Director of the BEROC Economic Research Center.
1:55 Why did you decide to come back to Ukraine?
8:38 What can be done to make the reforms irreversible?
14:06 Should we be afraid of privatization? How to carry out privatization correctly?
20:18 Is the presence of international consultants necessary?
21:28 With a cautious approach, won’t the reforms be too slow?
25:51 Why do we need a land market? What to look for when carrying out land reform?
30:51 What role should think tanks and research centers play in reforming?
35:07 What kind of international assistance should we look for in the first place?
38:47 Advice and wishes for future Belarusian reformers.