REFORUM. Improving the national competitiveness of Belarus: what governmental development programs are missing

REFORUM. Improving the national competitiveness of Belarus: what governmental development programs are missing

This study, conducted within the REFORUM project, analyzes the substance of governmental development programs with a view to identifying any missing dimensions, which, if implemented, could have sufficient capacity to encourage improvements in the national competitiveness of Belarus.

The analytical framework of the study envisages that areas of activities incorporated in programs will ultimately target, to a greater or lesser degree, improvements in the indicators of the so-called components of national competitiveness — qualitative and quantitative parameters characterizing its level. The list of the components of competitiveness has been drawn up based upon the methodology of the World Economic Forum.

The analytical part of the study therefore builds upon the search for areas of activities, as well as targets and objectives focused on the improvement of specific indicators of the components of national competitiveness in major governmental development programs and associated sectoral programs.

The findings of the analysis have made it possible to identify the following parameters of the components of national competitiveness, which were either missing in state development programs altogether or covered only partially.

The institutions component fails to include the indicators of the quality of work of law enforcement agencies, rule of law, and good governance. The government efficiency parameter is included only partially and envisages activities aimed at improving the operation of selected economic institutions.

In the infrastructure component, little attention is paid to the development of airport infrastructure, as well as the promotion of the quality of logistics.

The higher education and training component, as presented in the programs, is missing the indicator of the availability of vocational training and skill improvement services.

The indicator of hiring and firing practices is lacking in the coverage of the labor market efficiency component, and arrangements to improve the indicator of the capacity of the state to retain and attract professional personnel are missing.

Furthermore, growth in the national competitiveness of Belarus can additionally be expedited through improvements in the parameters of the innovation[1] component. Given the peculiar nature of the evolution of the innovation sector in Belarus, improvements in the environment for the operation of the IT sector might become a crucial development driver.


[1] This component is not included in the detailed analysis, because Belarus is currently in transition between the factor-driven economy and the innovation-driven economy. The innovation component is therefore less important than the other components of national competitiveness.