Launched in autumn 1993 with the goal to reduce the share of the state sector in GDP by two thirds, privatisation in Belarus was delayed in comparison to neighbouring countries. Aliaksandr Lukashenka became president a year later and succeeded in radically slowing down, and almost completely terminating privatisation by 1998. Later, privatisation was targeted and GDP in the private sector grew slowly, reaching 30 per cent in 2012.
The Belarusian economy boomed in 2000s, the boom was based on processing industries, thanks to the rapid rise in the price of Russian energy sources. As a result, there was a dramatic growth in the negative credit balance deficit of current account operations, which rose to 15 per cent of GDP in 2010. To finance the deficit, the government borrowed extensively, with external debt exceeding 40 per cent of GDP and reaching the average level of other Eastern European countries.
However, even such uneasy conditions did not encourage the government to choose privatisation as a priority in resource mobilisation. Between 2008 and 2012, gains from privatisation amounted to just about 4 billion USD, well below the 10.5 billion growth of foreign national debt in the same period.