Belarus is a young sovereign state, which pursues a peaceful multi-vector foreign policy. The moderate, constructive, consistent position of our state on the issues of international relations has received wide world recognition.
Over the years of independence, we have managed to preserve and increase the national wellness. Today, Belarus accounts for about one third of the global dump truck market, 17% for combines, 8% for tractors, 6.4% for flax fiber, 2.4% for dairy products. Every sixth ton of potash fertilizers in the world is produced in Belarus.
An important trait of the foreign policy of Belarus is economic diplomacy. Products with the brand «Made in Belarus» are known in 181 countries. We are represented in all regions of the world and actively participate in leading multilateral economic forums. Due to its favorable geographical position, our country is a transport corridor connecting the West and the East.
The Republic of Belarus is an export-oriented state with developed industry, agriculture and service sector. The country is a transport and logistics hub of the Eurasian region, located in the center of the Belt and Road Initiative. The favorable geographical position of the country became the basis for the dynamic development of the logistics sector.
Belarus is an active participant in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) – a powerful integration with advanced scientific and educational experience, a developed industrial base and rich human potential.
According to the World Bank Doing Business 2017 report, Belarus ranks 37th out of 190 countries and is among the top ten countries in the world in terms of reforms that are favorable for doing business. Innovative investment projects are being successfully implemented in our country with a broad attraction of foreign capital. One of such projects is the creation of the Chinese-Belarusian industrial park «The Great Stone», which has already been called the pearl of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The IT industry has been actively developed in Belarus: the High-Tech Park is successfully functioning, contributing to the promotion of Belarusian computer services to foreign markets as well as introduction of advanced information technologies to domestic enterprises.
Production and economic potential
The Republic of Belarus has a significant production and economic potential, which makes it possible to produce competitive industrial and agricultural products, transport passengers and goods, construct buildings and provide various services to the population and enterprises.
The main factors for the development of the production and economic potential of Belarus are:
- favorable economic and geographical position – the country is located in the center of Europe, through its territory there run the shortest paths from Russia, China, Kazakhstan, the countries of Central Asia and the North Caucasus to Western Europe;
- natural resource potential represented by potash salt and halite, building materials (granite, chalk and marl, build and glass sands), water, forest and land resources;
- the production potential accumulated in the Soviet years, preserved and multiplied during the independent years, which significantly exceeds the needs of the domestic market for particular products;
- high qualification and relatively low cost of labor resources;
- developed transport, telecommunications, energy, financial and industrial infrastructure;
- significant research potential;
- participation in free trade zones (within the CIS and with individual countries – Vietnam, Georgia, Serbia), as well as in the EAEU Customs Union, which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.
In recent years, in the structure of Belarus’s GDP the service sector has bypassed the scope of production in terms of added value. According to the data for 2016, industrial production (24.9%) occupies a leading position in the structure of GDP by type of economic activity, the proportion of which has been approximately at the same level in recent years. Trade and repair of cars, household goods and personal items (10.8%) ranked second. The share of agriculture and forestry made up 6.8%.
The structure of Belarus’s GDP (2016)
Belarus has sufficient human resource potential: the share of labor resources in the total population in 2016 was 61.4%.
Foreign investors have the right to establish companies in Belarus with any amount of investments, in any organizational and legal form including setting up their representative offices.
The necessary legal conditions have been created for the functioning of foreign investors in Belarus. All investors are guaranteed equal protection of rights and legitimate interests without discrimination, regardless of the form of ownership and national status. Guarantees to foreign investors are also provided in the framework of bilateral agreements of the Republic of Belarus with other countries.
The most attractive types of economic activity for investors are:
- wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (32.3%);
- transportation (30.5%);
- manufacturing industry (21.7%).
- Strategically advantageous location
Placing a business in Belarus allows companies to enter the most capacious and rapidly growing markets of the European Union countries, as well as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other CIS member states.
Direct access to the market of five EAEU countries — Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia;
Competitive Investment and Tax Climate.
Belarus has a number of preferential regimes. There are special preferential business conditions for the organization of business in six free economic zones, the High-Tech Park, the Industrial Park «The Great Stone», as well as on the territory of small and medium-sized cities of Belarus.
- Developed transport and logistics infrastructure
Due to its geo-economic position, Belarus is a transport and logistics hub of the Eurasian region.
The economy of Belarus is highly opened and is focused on foreign markets. More than 50% of the goods produced are exported.
Main export goods
Among the ten most important Belarusian goods, which account for between 30% and 0.6% in world production are:
- trucks, road and construction equipment;
- tractors and agricultural machinery;
- refrigerators and household appliances;
- flax fiber;
- chemical fibers and threads;
- meat products;
- dairy products.
The basis of imports are energy (oil and natural gas), raw materials, metals and metal products, raw materials for chemical production, machine parts, technical equipment.
Belarus maintains trade relations with more than 180 countries of the world. The main trade partner of Belarus is the Russian Federation: it accounts for about 50% of the total foreign trade turnover.
The European countries with which Belarus has the most developed trade and economic relations include the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania, Italy, Poland, Latvia, Belgium, the Czech Republic.
Among the CIS countries, the second place after Russia is occupied by Ukraine, the third – Kazakhstan. Trade relations with traditional partners are developing dynamically in Latin America – with Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador; and in the Asian region – with China, India, Indonesia, and Turkey.
Main exporting partners of the Republic of Belarus in 2016, %
Main importing partners of the Republic of Belarus in 2016, %
Belarus is a sovereign European state that pursues a multi-vector, pacific foreign policy, actively develops cooperation with foreign partners in different parts of the globe, and makes a significant contribution to strengthening international security and stability.
Belarus is a country that is highly opened to the outside world minding membership in international organizations and integration associations.
Belarus maintains diplomatic relations with 177 countries of the world. Foreign institutions of Belarus are open in 59 countries.
Adhering to common approaches in the development of relations with all foreign partners, Belarus, like any other state, concentrates its foreign policy efforts on a number of the most important and promising areas.
Among them is cooperation with neighboring states, primarily with the Russian Federation, interaction with which is based on a union basis.
The European Union is an objectively important partner for Belarus in the trade and economic sphere as a source of investment resources.
Cooperation with the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America is achieving a qualitatively new level.
Belarus is consistently reaching for the normalization of relations with the United States of America.
Important directions of foreign policy of Belarus are multilateral diplomacy, cooperation in the framework of international organizations.
A foreigner can enter Belarus, leave the country and transit throw it if there is a document for traveling abroad (passport or other document) and visa of the Republic of Belarus (visas of other states are not recognized), unless otherwise specified by international treaties of the Republic of Belarus or by decisions of the President The Republic of Belarus.
The visa-free regime is applicable to citizens of the following countries:
- Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine;
- Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Israel, Mongolia (for up to 90 days);
- Qatar, Cuba, United Arab Emirates, Macau, Serbia, Turkey, Ecuador (for up to 30 days);
- Macedonia (up to 90 days with a private invitation or tourist voucher);
- Montenegro (for up to 30 days with a private invitation or tourist voucher);
- China (as part of tourist groups).
Since February 12, 2017, Belarus has a five-day visa-free regime for citizens of 80 countries when entering through the checkpoint at the state border of the Republic of Belarus Minsk National Airport.
The conditions of the regime apply to 39 countries of Europe, including the entire European Union, as well as Indonesia, the United States, Japan and others.
In addition, foreign citizens have the opportunity of visa-free visits to Belovezhskaya Pushcha (for up to 3 days) and the territory of the August Channel, including Grodno (up to 5 days).
The purpose of the innovations is to intensify the visits of businessmen, tourists, and individuals with civil (national) passports.
The number of countries whose citizens have the opportunity to enter Belarus without a visa is constantly growing. The latest information on the conditions for visa-free entry is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.
Belarus in international rankings
According to the latest report of the World Bank, Belarus is among the ten leading countries in the world to implement reforms that are favorable for business.
The position of Belarus has improved in terms of such indicators as «connection to the power supply system» (from 74th to 24th place), «property registration» (from 7th to 5th), «receiving loans» (from 109th to the 101st), «protection of minority investors» (from 62nd to 42nd), «resolution of insolvency» (from 95th to 69th), «enforcement of contracts» (from 28th to 27th).