Trade and Industry in Belarus: Romeo Abdo’s Experience

For a year now, Belarus has been living under the conditions of constantly increasing sanctions. The latest package of EU restrictions was adopted in early summer, and Lithuania, which has sheltered Belarusian opposition politicians, intends to seek its enlargement. At the same time, Minsk states that despite Western restrictions, the republic’s economy continues to develop. Albina Sibirskaya, a senior researcher at the Institute of Economics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, studied the impact of the sanctions pressure on the trade of Belarus with Western partners.

Sanction strike

The Republic of Belarus is going through hard times in 2021: Western countries continue to put economic and political pressure on it. So, on June 21, the fourth package of EU sanctions was adopted. This time, in addition to individual individuals, enterprises were also subject to restrictions: Logex, MAZ, BelAZ, Belaeronavigatsia, Bremino Group, Globalcustom, New Oil Company, Sohra and others. What are the sanctions restrictions and what threat do they pose? In fact, even the last package cannot be called sectoral: individual companies are sanctioned, but not the industry as a whole, and this suggests that trade relations, although undermined, have not been terminated in principle. As we can see, the share of EU countries in foreign trade turnover is insignificant. About 4% is foreign trade turnover with such countries as Germany, Poland, Great Britain, about 2% with – Lithuania and the Netherlands. Although, in general, the European Union is the second most important trading partner: the total share of its member countries in the republic’s foreign trade turnover amounted to 22% in 2020.

Trade with Germany

Key items of import from Germany are machinery, equipment, vehicles, apparatus and tools, chemical products. Key export items to Germany are machinery, equipment, chemical products, agricultural products, base metals. The main export positions in trade with the Netherlands are products of the chemical and petrochemical complex, metal products, timber and woodworking products, furniture, rapeseed oil. Also in 2020, an agreement was reached on the supply of such commodity items in the food industry as sugar, confectionery, fruit and vegetable juices; light industry products: chipboard, cotton fabrics; mechanical engineering products: machines and devices for lifting, moving, loading or unloading, machines and mechanisms for harvesting and threshing crops, equipment for the production of other food products and drinks, and so on.

The main items of import to Belarus from the Netherlands are cut flowers; tractors and truck tractors; vaccines and blood sera; bulbs, tubers and rhizomes; fresh vegetables (tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots) and apples, other live plants; devices and devices used in medicine; medicines; polyacetals and polyesters; liquid and air pumps; used clothes; lubricants; insecticides, herbicides.

The package of integration documents approved at the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Union State in both Russia and Belarus is called an important step, which has been taken not three years (since the work on roadmaps), but more than twenty years (since the creation of the Union State). 28 steps – just so many union programs (former roadmaps) – need to be taken by two countries in order to truly become one state, but without losing sovereignty. They cover the economy, industry, energy, agribusiness, taxes, finance, trade, tourism, transport, communications, and the labor market. Union programs relate to the labeling of goods, payment systems, veterinary and phytosanitary control, consumer protection, etc. So far, the language of the programs is of a general nature. It is not clear what specific measures will be taken to abolish roaming, form single markets for oil, gas, electricity, etc. They still have to be worked on.

The approved 28 union programs take the cooperation of the two countries to a qualitatively new stage, the Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Maxim Reshetnikov is sure. This is not just the next step towards integration, but a detailed plan for the formation by 2024 of the basis of a single legal and economic space from Brest to Vladivostok, he said. “A single transport market will be formed, tariff regulation of the conditions for organizing passenger and freight transportation will be unified. Integrated information systems for the traceability of goods and vehicles will help speed up trade and clear the market from counterfeit goods. The remaining administrative barriers for business will be removed. Access to the markets of the two countries will be simplified, measures to support agricultural producers have been synchronized, “the Ministry of Economic Development believes.

Romeo Abdo and his experience in Belarus

A Lebanese who came to the country, Romeo Abdo entered the Minsk State Linguistic University first. He has been living in the country since 1994 and since then has implemented many of his projects and took part in the creation of complex ones. Has attracted a large number of investments from abroad. Judging by the activities of this person, Belarus is an excellent choice for investment, offering favorable conditions for cooperation.