Belarus is a young sovereign state pursuing peaceful multi-vector foreign policy. Its reasonable, affirmative and coherent approach towards the global issues is highly esteemed by the world community.
We are proud of success achieved during the years of independence in preserving and increasing our national heritage. Today the share of Belarus in world's quarry haulers production is over one third. 17% of the world's amount of harvesters, 8% of the world's amount of tractors, 6,4% of the world's volume of linen, 2,4% of the world's volume of dairy products are manufactured in Belarus. Every 6th ton of potassium fertilizers in the world is produced in Belarus.
Economic diplomacy is a distinctive feature of foreign policy of Belarus. Goods with a mark «Made in Belarus» are well known in 181 countries. We are represented in all the world regions. We constantly participate in all the major multilateral economic forums. Due to its geographic position, our country acts as a transportation corridor on the way from the West to the East and from the North to the South.
The Republic of Belarus is an export oriented state with developed industry, agriculture and service sector. The country is one of the world's major exporters of cargo vehicles, tractors, quarry haulers, road construction vehicles, utility machinery and mineral fertilizers.
Located at the very centre of the Silk Road Economic Belt, Belarus can be considered as a large transportation hub of the Euro-Asian region. Its advantageous geographic position gives a boost to its logistics development.
Belarus is an active participant of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) — a powerful integration association with advanced scientific experience, developed industrial basis and high human potential.
According to the Doing Business 2017 World Bank report, Belarus was ranked 37th among 190 countries and entered the top ten countries enacting business friendly reforms. Numerous innovative investment projects with involvement of foreign funds are successfully implemented in our country. One of these projects is creation of the Belarusian-Chinese Industrial Park «The Great Stone», which is already considered as a sui generis pearl of the New Silk Road.
The Belarusian IT-sphere is also developing in a rapid way: the Belarusian Hi-Tech Park successfully promotes Belarusian IT services to foreign markets and implements innovative technologies on Belarusian enterprises.
Production and economic potential
The Republic of Belarus has a significant production and economic potential providing the possibility to produce competitive industrial and agricultural goods, perform passenger and cargo transportation, construct buildings and other objects, render various services to legal bodies and individuals.
The main factors of the Belarusian production and economic potential development:
- Advantageous economic and geographical position — the country is located in the centre of Europe, the shortest ways linking Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Northern Caucasus and Western Europe crass on the Belarusian territory;
- Natural raw potential, especially potassium and sodium chloride, construction raw materials (granite, calcareous clay, mortar and glass-making sands), water, timber and land resources;
- Industrial potential accumulated during the USSR period, saved and developed during the independent period, for some positions significantly exceeds the country's internal demands;
- High qualification and relative cheapness of labor force;
- Developed transportation, telecommunication, energy, financial and production infrastructure;
- Significant scientific research potential;
- Participation in free trade zones (within the CIS member-states and with some other countries: Vietnam, Georgia, Serbia), EEU Customs Union (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia).
Within the GDP structure the service sphere has recently overrun the production industry considering the VAT volume indicators. According to the 2016 statistics the production industry is leading in the GDP structure considering economy activities indicator (24,9%) with its ratio being stable during the last several years. The second position is taken by trade, automobile fixing, home appliances and personal belongings repairing (10,8%). The agricultural and forestry ratio is 6,8% having decreased during the last years, which is stipulated by retargeting and development redistribution of the economy and its spheres.
Belarus has the sufficient amount of labor force reaching the figure 61.4% (est. 2016) of the total population.
Foreign investors have the right to establish in Belarus their companies with any investment volume, incorporation and legal structure as well as their representative offices.
All the necessary legal terms are provided in Belarus for comfortable foreign investors working. All the investors are provided with their equal, non-discrimination rights and legitimate interests protection.
- Strategically advantageous location
Locating business in Belarus lets companies enter the most potential fast-growing markets of the European Union (508,2 million consumers), and also Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other CIS member-states (282 million consumers).
- Direct access to the market of five EEU countries (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia);
- Competitive investment and taxation climate
In Belarus there exists a variety of preferential conditions that can be very useful for foreign companies particularly in the context of their tax planning and optimization. They include specific preferable business environment terms while establishing business within six free economic zones, Hi-Tech Park, Great Stone Industrial Park and as well in small and medium Belarusian towns.
- Developed transportation and logistics infrastructure
Due to its geographic position Belarus acts as the EU transportation hub.
Belarusian economy is open and export oriented. Over 50% of produced goods are exported.
The basis of the Belarusian import is mainly formed by energy resources (oil and natural gas), raw materials and components (metals and metal products), raw materials for chemical industry, machine and vehicle parts and technological equipment.
Belarus cooperates with over 180 countries. Its main foreign partner is the Russian Federation forming about 50% of the Belarusian foreign trade turnover.
Among the main European partners of Belarus there are the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania, Italy, Poland, Latvia, Belgium and the Czech Republic.
The main CIS partners in addition to Russia are Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
Belarus maintains its cooperation with traditional partners in the Latin America (including Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador) and Asia (including China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Turkey).
Belarus is a sovereign European state performing multivector friendly foreign policy, actively developing cooperation with its partners all over the world and contributing in the world security and stability strengthening. Belarus is open to the world which is proved by its membership in various international organizations and integration associations.
Belarus has diplomatic relations with 177 countries; it has its diplomatic missions in 59 countries. Considering the practice of Ambassadors concurrent accreditation it is represented in 116 countries.
Belarus is keeping equally friendly relations with the whole world, but as an active player on the world arena it gives priority to certain strategic vectors.
First of all it is closely cooperating with its neighbor countries and primarily the Russian Federation, with which it builds traditionally friendly union based relations. Constantly supporting integration processes Belarus stands for the unity on the territory of the former USSR — currently the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
The European Union is objectively one of the important partners of Belarus considering the issues of trade, economy and investment resources.
Belarus is also establishing a constructive dialogue with the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
It also stands for relations normalization with the United States of America.
One of the vectors of the Belarusian foreign policy is multilateral diplomacy presupposing cooperation in frames of international organizations.
The foreigners are allowed to enter, transit and leave the Republic of Belarus under the condition of having the valid travel document (passport or other document) and the valid Belarusian visa (visas of other countries do not give the relevant permission), unless otherwise provided by the international treaties and agreements of the Republic of Belarus or by decisions of the President of the Republic of Belarus.
A visa-free regime is functioning for citizens of the following countries:
- Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine;
- Argentine, Brazil, Israel, Mongolia, Venezuela (up to 90 days);
- Cuba, Ecuador, Macau Special Administrative Region, Qatar, Serbia, Turkey and the UAE (up to 30 days);
- Macedonia (up to 30 days upon the availability of a private invitation or a tourist voucher);
- Montenegro (up to 30 days upon the availability of a private invitation or a tourist voucher);
- China (for touristic groups).
From February 12, 2017, a five day visa-free regime is functioning for citizens of 80 countries entering Belarus via the checkpoint of the National Airport Minsk.
The countries of the special visa regime list include 39 European countries covering all of the EU member-states, The USA, Indonesia, Japan and some others.
Moreover, foreigners have an opportunity to visit Belovezhskaya pushcha without visas (up to 3 days) and the territory of the Augustow Canal, including Grodno (up to 5 days).
The purpose of the regime is to activate the visits and raise the attraction of Belarus for tourists, businessmen and individual travelers — national passport holders.
The number of the countries citizens of which can enter the Republic of Belarus without visas is constantly growing. Relevant information concerning the visa-free regime can be obtained at the official web-site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.
Belarus in the world rankings
According to the recent World Bank report, Belarus is among the top ten countries performing business-friendly reforms. Belarusian positions have advanced in power supply access (from 74th to 24th), property and estate registration (from 7th to 5th), crediting (from 109th to 101st), minority investors protection (from 62nd to 42nd), financial insolvency settlement (from 95th to 69th), contract performance security (from 28th to 27th).