Belarus Trade

Subchapters:

  • Business Relationships
  • FTAs ​​and Treaties
  • Development Cooperation
  • Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Business relations

Trade relations with the EU

The EU is the second most important partner for Belarus after Russia, with a fifth share of Belarusian foreign trade. The turnover of foreign trade with the EU in 2020 compared to 2019 decreased by -9.6% to EUR 10,765 million (19.6% of Belarus’ foreign trade). Exports from Belarus to the EU EUR 3,86 million (down 11% compared to 2019) and imports EUR 6,21 million (down 8.5%). The negative balance amounted to EUR 2,35 million, especially in view of the decrease in the import of petroleum products from Belarus. Belarus mainly exports fuel to the EU, as well as some chemical products, agricultural products, industrial technology and textiles in lower volumes. It mainly imports machinery, means of transport and chemical products from the EU.

  • Allcountrylist: Overview of major industries in Belarus, including mining, construction, transportation, tourism, and foreign trade.

Trade exchange with the EU (million EUR)

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Exports from the EU (million EUR) 6,270.4 6,694.0 6,215.3 ON ON
Imports into the EU (million EUR) 4,369.1 4,173.6 3,861.2 ON ON
Balance with the EU (million EUR) -1,901.3 -2,520.4 -2,354.1 ON ON

Source: European Commission

Trade relations with the Czech Republic

Although the year 2020 brought further turbulence to the Belarusian economy, which resonated in the conditions of the country’s limited internal resources (against the background of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic and the events that took place after the presidential elections), Czech exports within the framework of trade and economic cooperation with Belarus recorded further growth, when in the year-on-year in comparison rose by +3.7% to CZK 7.4 billion and ensured a significant surplus of CZK billion in mutual trade with Belarus. Conversely, imports into the Czech Republic fell by -15.8% year-on-year to CZK billion (decrease in imports of petroleum products by 36.2%; wood and wood products by 32.6%; iron products by 23.7%).

Trade exchange with the Czech Republic (billion CZK)

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Exports from the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 7.2 7.1 7.4 ON ON
Imports to the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 3.6 3.8 3.2 ON ON
Balance with the Czech Republic (billion CZK) -3.5 -3.3 -4.2 ON ON

Source: CZSO

FTAs and treaties

Treaties with the EU

As the EU refused to ratify the bilateral PCA (ratification frozen since 1997), trade and economic relations between the EU and Belarus are governed by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) signed in 1989 .This agreement enshrines the most-favoured-nation clause, but does not envisage Belarusian regulatory approximation to the EU’s most important trade acquis. In June 2007, the EU withdrew the benefits of the GSP (General System of Preferences) system from Belarus. It did so in response to Belarus’ non-respect of its commitments to the International Labor Organization. Belarus joined the Eastern Partnership initiative, which was supposed to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the EU. This initiative had, among other things,

Contracts with the Czech Republic

The creation of favorable conditions for the development of mutually beneficial economic cooperation and the support of specific joint projects and business plans of companies is dealt with by the Czech-Belarusian Joint Commission, which was established by the Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of the Republic of Belarus on Economic, Industrial and Scientific-Technical Cooperation. Important agreements include the Agreement between the Czech Republic and the Republic of Belarus on the promotion and mutual protection of investments, the Treaty between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of the Republic of Belarus on the Prevention of Double Taxation and the Protocol to the Treaty between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of the Republic of Belarus on the Prevention of Double Taxation and Prevention of Tax Evasion in the Sector income and property taxes. The protocol brings improvements in conditions for business entities, such as lower taxation of income from dividends or license fees.

Developmental cooperation

Foreign development cooperation in relation to Belarus is carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in the form of so-called small local projects, which are lower units of projects up to 500,000. CZK each. Every year, the Czech Development Agency announces a call for submission of subsidy applications under the subsidy title PROGRAM B2B (details: http://www.czechaid.cz/jak-se-zapojit/soukromy-sektor/ ). The Czech Republic also helps in the development of civil society and the solution of selected social problems within the framework of projects co-financed by the EU or independently through transformational cooperation in projects submitted by Czech entities operating in Belarus.

Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Opportunities for Czech solutions on the Belarusian market are mainly aimed at state-owned (in some cases strategic – currency inflow) enterprises of Belarus. Another factor is the strong pro-export orientation of Belarus and the wide range of industrial production. The Czech Republic currently has a high share of so-called investment imports – machinery and technology. Currently, 4 promising sectors for Czech exports to Belarus have been identified, for which demand is steadily growing: energy, engineering, agriculture and food, and the area of ​​waste management.

Energy industry

The strategic goal of the Belarusian government for the period 2021-2025 is to increase the energy independence of the country. The planned completion of construction of the Astravec nuclear power plant (launch of the first unit this year and commissioning of the second unit in the first half of 2022) and its subsequent integration into the transmission system of Belarus brings export opportunities, especially in the supply of equipment for the construction of backup sources of thermal power plants, construction and modernization of power lines and substations. The pursuit of greater energy self-sufficiency and the absence of its own energy engineering represents a chance for Czech companies in the field of supplying energy-efficient and energy-saving technologies, especially in the municipal sector,

Water management and waste industry

The potential of projects for the construction of recycling and regranulation plants with regard to the interest in the reuse and recycling of municipal waste. A waste incinerator for the capital, which produces almost a quarter of all waste in the country, is another interesting chance for Czech companies. The current capacity of landfills will be filled by the end of 2022. Therefore, the issue of building a modern incinerator in which municipal waste (550,000 tons per year) would be disposed of is now very urgent for Minsk. In 2025, the program for developing the quality of drinking water in Belarus is also to be completed. As part of the program, the government announced the modernization of wastewater treatment plants in several Belarusian cities. The largest project is the government-approved (temporarily suspended in September 2020) EBRD and EIB investment for EUR 168 million in water management buildings and wastewater treatment plant equipment of the Minsk city water company.

Agricultural and food industry

In February 2021, the Government of Belarus decided to allocate approximately USD 110 billion in the years 2021-2025 to support agriculture and the food industry under the “Agrarian Entrepreneurship” program. In the agrarian sector, the focus is on the reconstruction/construction of farms, pig farms and the modernization of the processing industry. Livestock production and the related processing industry are among the key perspective fields that will be financially supported by the Belarusian state. In the context of the ongoing expansion of Belarusian dairy production and the ongoing expansion into Asian markets, new opportunities are opening up in the field of modernization of Belarusian dairies and the possible involvement of Czech technologies in this process. There is long-term interest in high-quality blue poppy, hops and barley grown in the Czech Republic.

Rail and rail transport

In the transport infrastructure, which is also related to the Belarusian government’s Program for the Development of the Country’s Logistics System, there is an opportunity in the offer of rail technology and optimization of supply chains by increasing the efficiency of existing global transport solutions (especially considering the increase in the volume of freight transported from China by rail, which will continue in the coming years). The permanent demand for signaling, security and electronic systems in the railway transport infrastructure also offers scope for Czech exporters.

You can find other industry opportunities for all countries in the publication “Map of strategic opportunities” on the EXPORT.CZ portal ( https://www.export.cz/aktuality/mop/ )

Belarus Trade