18. Information meeting on government advice – part 1

On January 21st, the German Economic Team (GET) presented the economic monitors for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. The online-event, organised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, was attended by a number of officials from the Economics Ministry, the Federal Foreign Office, other federal ministries, as well as development cooperation- and trade organisations, such as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany Trade and Invest (gtai), the Chamber of Foreign Trade in Belarus and the German Eastern Business Association. In total, the event had 90 participants.

Unsurprisingly, the effects of the Corona-crisis on the economies of the partner countries were an important part of the event’s agenda. As expected, the Corona-pandemic puts the economies under serious pressure. Moldova (6.7%) experiences the most extensive downturn, as Moldova’s important agricultural sector suffers from the effects of a severe drought. Likewise, GDP decline in Ukraine (4.6%) is significant, however, Ukraine is expected to grow strongly again in 2021. In Belarus, GDP only fell by 0.9% in 2020, yet the recession persists in 2021 (-1,8%). In sum, although all three countries experienced significant downturns, the prospects for the current year differ.

Finally, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions, which was made use of extensively and facilitated a fruitful and interesting discussion. After the official part, participants took part in a digital networking event via wonder.me, which allowed for more informal exchanges.