Currency: Belarusian ruble (BYB/BYR)
GDP: $55.48 billion (2011)
GDP per capita: $16,260 (2010)
GDP by sector agriculture: (8.4%), industry (41.5%), services (50.1%) (2008 est.)
Inflation (CPI): 18.1% (January—October 2012)
Population: 9 460,7 thousand people ( 2012)
Labour force: 4.869 million (2007)
Labour force by occupation:
agriculture (14%), industry (34.7%), services (51.3%) (2003 est.)
Unemployment: 1% (2009 est.; only officially registered as unemployed included)
Average gross salary: 3,559,600 BYR / 436 $, monthly (May 2012)
Belarus is a country with a resilient economy and diversified industrial profile. Despite a lack of natural resources, the Chernobyl accident (1986), and the economic crisis the country had to overcome after the breakup of the USSR (1991), Belarus has recorded substantial economic growth. The Belarusian Government pursues the strategy of cautious reform with great concern for social welfare and stability, which is called a socially oriented market economy.
Main industries of Belarus are petrochemicals, potash fertilizers, foodstuffs, timber, metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, televisions, synthetic fibers, textiles, radios, refrigerators
Exports $33.04 billion (2008 est.)
Main export partners - Russia 32.2%, Netherlands 16.9%, Ukraine 8.5%, Latvia 6.6%, Poland 5.5%, UK 4.4% (2008)
Imports -$39.16 billion (2008 est.)
Main import partners- Russia 59.8%, Germany 7.1%, Ukraine 5.4% (2008)
Gross external debt-$15.15 billion (31 December 2008)
Although not rich in minerals, Belarus has small deposits of iron ore, nonferrous metal ores, dolomite, potash (for fertilizer production), rock salt, phosphorites, refractory clay, molding sand, sand for glass production, and various building materials. Belarus also has deposits of industrial diamonds, titanium, copper ore, lead, mercury, bauxite, nickel, vanadium, and amber.
All the activities related to prospecting, exploration and production of oil and associated gas in the country are carried out by the government-controlled concern “Belneftekhim” via its subsidiary “Belorusneft”. Belorusneft exports about 50% of its oil output. Oil deposits on the territory of Belarus are located in a single oil and gas basin, the Pripyat depression, which covers approximately 30,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi). About 50 out of total of 70 known fields are currently under production. Belarus’ own production covers only about 30% of domestic oil consumption. For this reason, the Government is seeking ways to access oil and gas resources on the territory of the Russia and other countries, so that oil produced there could be delivered to refineries in Belarus and refined products would be sold domestically and on export markets.
Almost all of the natural gas used in Belarus is imported from Russia (about 99% of consumption). Domestic gas prices continue to be regulated by the government and in many instances cover only a fraction of the actual cost. Belarus has a well-developed gas transportation and gas distribution networks that ensure reliable supplies of natural gas to the consumers in the country. Beltransgaz, 100% state-owned joint stock company, owns and operates the system of main natural gas pipelines.
In the Soviet period, Belarus specialized mainly in machine building and instrument building (especially tractors, large trucks, machine tools, and automation equipment), in Computers and electronics industry and in agricultural production.
Belarus can be divided into three agricultural regions: north (flax, fodder, grasses, and cattle), central (potatoes and pigs), and south (pastureland, hemp, and cattle). Belarus’ cool climate and dense soil are well suited to fodder crops, which support herds of cattle and pigs, and temperate-zone crops (wheat, barley, oats, buckwheat, potatoes, flax, and sugar beets). Belarus’ soils are generally fertile, especially in the river valleys, except in the southern marshy regions.
The main partners in the field of international tourism are countries of the former Soviet Union, Germany, Poland, United Kingdom, Turkey, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Sweden, and the Netherlands.
On 1 January 2010, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus launched a customs union