Business information of Belarus

The Belarusian economic structure is characterized by the following.

Sectors of national economy

Share in GDP (%)

Industry

25.6

Construction

5.6

Agriculture and Forestry

12.0

Other product™;

0.4

Catering Industry

46.6

Net taxes on domestic and imported products

9.8

Belarus imports up to 80% of raw materials and energy from Russia and the Ukraine, and exports more than 70% of its output to the CIS and the Baltics, The dynamics of the economy change in the recent years.

GDP per capita is USD 2,130. An average monthly salary in the country is about USD 50-90б.

Industry

Belarus had one of the mosl industrialized economies in the former Soviet Union. It has a well developed heavy duty truck industry, tractor and agricultural machinery industries, machine-building and bearing industry, electronics and radio engineering, oil extraction and processing, mining and chemicals industry and production ol construction materials.

Industry accounted for over 40% of Belarus’ net material product, 30% of its employment and 90% ol its exports. The largest subsector, machine-building, accounted for 27% of the industrial output in 1990, with light industry and food processing contributing respectively 17% and 15%. Belarusian state enterprises were typically large-scale processors of raw materials from other republics, distributing to other locations in the former SU. The total number of industrial state enterprises, prior to the stad of privatization, was 1,700, employing about 1.3 million workers. As a result of the closure of Belarus’ major markets and ol the inability to finance the purchase ol impoded supplies, industrial output declined by 38% between 1991 and 1994.

Belarus ranks lirst among the CIS states in production of potassium fertilizers, hay-making machines and industrial sewing machines. It ranks second in the production of trucks, tractors, chemical fibers and threads, motorcycles and wood. It comes third place in the production of metal-cutting machines. AC electric engines, tyres, lumber, paper, window glass, household relrigerators and freezers, TV sets, radios, bicycles and hosiery.

Agriculture

The main agricultural sectors are meat and dairy production, potato, grain, flax, sugar beet, and vegetable growing, but there is also activity in apple farming and apiculture. Total arable land is 8.7 million hectares or 44.5% ol the total territory, of which 65.2% is ploughed land and 33% is pasture. Belarus has some 3.000 private farms with 70,000 hectares ol land, or 0.7% of the total area of agricultural land.

Transport and communication

Belarus has a well-developed transport infrastructure, which includes rail and motor roads, oil and gas pipelines. The Belarusian territory is crossed by the main pathways which link CIS and Europe. Annually more than 2 bin passengers and more than 1 bin tons of cargo are carried Railroad density in the Republic ol Belarus is 27 km per 1,000 krrf, and automobile road density is 337 km per 1,000 krrv.
Over 70% ot cargo and 60% of passenger services are provided by the road transport.

Belarus does not have access to sea, however, the Republican Government seriously considers creation of own trade fleet in the form of joint ship companies.

Belarus has an airport network with air routes to more than 100 CIS cities. Minsk-2 airport meets international requirements.

By the beginning of 1995 Belarus had 527 city telephone stations with 1.7 telephone lines and 2964 countryside telephone stations with 423.5 thousand lines. 60% of urban and 27% ol rural families are supplied with telephone lines.

Education and scince

Educational network in Belarus includes 6,000 preschool institutions and about the same number ot secondary schools, 33 higher educational institutions and 149 secondary professional training schools. The Republic has 180 students per 10 thousand people.

Here are some higher educational establishments of Belarus:
Belarusian State University
220080. Minsk, SkorinaAv. 4,
tel./fax (017) 226-59-40

It carries out training of specialists in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, jurisprudence, foreign relations, geography, philosophy, history, sociology, etc.

Belarusian State Polytechnical Academy (BSPA)
220027, Minsk, SkorinaAv. 65. tel (017)232-77-52,232-74-26, 232-74-13 (Foreign Relations Department), fax 232-41-42

One ot the largest technical universities ot the former USSR. It carries out training ot students and post-graduates at 13 departments, including traditional mechanical engineering, power engineering, building, architecture as well as new long-term orientation departments (robotics, computer tech¬nologies, instrument-making, including medical instruments, jewellery production, etc.). BSPA has trained more than 100 thousand engineers, 3.500 specialists tor 96 countries ot the World. The Academy graduates Worldwide are members ot the International Association ot BSPA Graduates (contact tel 232-75-73, tax 232-91-37).

Belarusian state Economic University
220672, Minsk, Partizansky Av. 26. tel. (017) 249-40-32, fax 249-51-06

Belarusian University of Culture
220001, Minsk, Rabkorovskaya 17, tel. (017) 222-24-10, fax 222-24-09

There is also a joint Belarusian-German International Educational Centre (IBB)
in Minsk.
220116, Minsk, Gazety Pravda Av. 11, tel. (017) 270-39-94, fax 270-39-95, Extremely nice place for holding conferences, seminars and business meetings, equipped with simultaneous translation facilities. See the add.

The Belarusian Academy of Sciences was founded in 1929. The Academy System includes 34 R&D centers Presently 44 thousand scientists and engineers are involved in applied and fundamental research; more than a thousand of them have a Doctor’s degree and almost 14 thousand have a Candidate’s degree. Developments made by Belarusian mathematicians, physicists, nuclear physicists, chemists, biologists are acclaimed worldwide. Profound as well as applied researches are financed both from the state budget and on the contract basis

Academy of Sciences
Minsk, Skorina Av 66, tel 232-21-23,239-48-01, fax 239-31-63

Foreign of Sciences

Belarus exports more than a thousand items of merchandise. The Republic ranks third among CIS exporters in terms of volume, preceded by Russia and the Ukraine. The exportation volume covers around hall the GDP. Belarus is an export-oriented country, it exports its merchandise to 110 world and CIS countries The table presents the recent dynamics of the country’s toreign trade (in USD mln):

Year

Export

Import

Balance

1992

3,556.7

3,494.8

63.9

1993

1,970.2

2,538.7

-568.5

1994

2,510.0

3,066.3

-556.3

1995

4,362.9

4,795.2

-432.3

 

Banking and insurance

A two-level banking system has been created in Belarus. It consists of the National Bank and commercial banks. The role of the National Bank is similar to that of central banks in market economies. It supervises the network of commercial banks and performs the following functions:
-emission ot cash and circulation management;
-refinancing of banks and credit management;
-banking tor the state and shaping of its monetary policy.
The National Bank has licensed 40 commercial state-owned, private, and mixed-owned banks. The biggest Belarusian commercial banks are Belagroprombank, Belpromstroibank, Priorbank. Belarusbank, Belbusi-nessbank, Belvnesheconombank.

Further development of the national banking system is expected to provide lor:
-upgrading of banks security and liquidity;
-expansion of the range of banking services and more competitive pricing;
-accumulation of resources to be invested in the national economy; -development ot correspondent relations with leading banks in the partner countries;
-encouragement ol foreign investments for creation of joint and foreign banks.

Belarusian insurance market is currently operated by 81 insurance companies, registered by the State Insurance Inspection of the Republic ot Belarus. The only Belarusian state-owned insurance company Belgosstrakh collects 32.6% of the total insurance levies.