On January 23-27, 2017, the IMF and JVI delivered a one-week course on Financial Programming and Policies (FPP) at the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus Training Center in Raubichi. The course brought together 36 participants from 4 national institutions. Compared to the typical two-week FPP schedule, the course was customized to concentrate on the practical aspects of financial programming.
At the request of the Belarusian authorities, which have been in discussions with the IMF regarding financial support for a macroeconomic reform program, a JVI team including Messrs. Thomas Richardson, Martin Schindler and Alexei Miksjuk delivered a one-week IMF course on FPP in Belarus. The Senior Regional Resident Representative for Central and Eastern Europe, Mr. Bas Bakker, complemented the course with a guest lecture on the IMF’s perspectives on economic developments in Belarus and the region. The participants were from the Ministries of Finance and Economy, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB), and the Research Institute of the Ministry of Economy.
The course largely consisted of workshops, to provide participants with practical experience in how to deal with the various trade-offs when designing a macroeconomic reform program. Successful completion of the online FPP (FPP.1x), in Russian or in English, was a prerequisite for participation, so that only a brief review of the macroeconomic accounts and the methodological basis of financial programming was necessary.
During the week participants (1) analyzed economic and financial developments of the country case study; (2) created consistent one-year economic projections under the assumption of unchanged policies; (3) identified economic vulnerabilities and risks in the baseline scenario and policy measures to address them; (4) prepared an adjustment scenario that reflected these policy measures and recognized their macro impacts; and (5) identified further policy goals and measures to be incorporated into a medium-term framework.
The JVI team combined the visit with outreach to the Belarusian authorities and officials, including meetings with NBRB Governor Pavel Kallaur, First Deputy Finance Minister Maksim Ermolovich, First Deputy Minister of Economy Alexander Zaborovski, and Deputy Governor Dmitry Kalechits, as well as with Belarusian JVI alumni during a small reception. All interlocutors expressed their gratitude for the course and strong support for JVI and IMF capacity-building efforts.
Alexei Miksjuk, Junior Economist, JVI