As a result of the meeting of the presidents of Russia and Belarus on September 9, 2021, the parties agreed on 28 programs for further integration within the Union State. This decision received a wide range of responses, ranging from enthusiastic to extremely negative. However, a significant part of them is based on emotions or political analysis, while most of the programs will lead to actions that can seriously affect the economies of countries and become one of the drivers for the development of ties throughout the post-Soviet space.
Belarusian Foreign Relations
According to the Institute of Economic Forecasting of the Russian Academy of Sciences, more than 30% of the Belarusian GDP is formed through ties with Russia. These are not only direct effects from changes in the dynamics of trade. The fact is that some of the countries’ trade relations have no alternative and cannot be quickly changed due to supplies from third countries. Suffice it to recall the supplies of Russian oil to Belarusian oil refineries. In the context of the sanctions imposed by Western countries on Belarus, this issue has become even more significant, since the largest enterprises of the republic fell under the restrictions.
For Russia, these ties are also significant and form at least 2-4% of the total GDP. But more importantly, a sufficiently high level of cooperation in the production and scientific spheres remains between the countries, which has the potential for further expansion. For ordinary citizens, this is noticeable in the large number of stores with Belarusian products in Russian cities or, if possible, using the usual Russian digital consumer services on the territory of Belarus.
It must be said frankly that by 2020 the Belarusian economy will approach a structural crisis. It was not determined by a large-scale drop in economic activity and was associated with the exhaustion of the development model that had been implemented in the country for two decades. It was based on the maximum use of the production capacities inherited by the republic from the USSR, and the supply of energy resources from Russia at affordable prices. The presence of relatively high-quality facilities for oil refining and fertilizer production made it possible in these conditions to balance the parameters of foreign trade.
Guaranteed legal protection
The key problems of the Belarusian economy are that the domestic market is relatively small to ensure sustainable growth in the quality of life in the country, and the efficiency of most production facilities is gradually no longer meeting modern requirements. In these conditions, maintaining high standards of social support for citizens already requires the use of external debt financing.
The situation can be reversed only by intensive actions in the field of economic policy aimed at modernizing the economy, which makes it possible to adequately respond to emerging challenges associated with changes in the world system of trade and economic relations, the global climate agenda, etc. In the context of significant structural changes in the world economy, stagnation inevitably leads to an increase in both financial and social tension in the country.
Part of the Belarusian society believes that the reorientation of the focus of economic interaction towards the European Union can give the necessary impetus to the development of the country. Intuitively, this choice is clear: the standard of living in the EU countries is higher. However, the experience of Ukraine and a number of new EU members from Eastern Europe shows that this path is not easy. Moreover, for Belarus with its developed industry and agriculture, it is highly likely to be associated with a deep shock and culling of entire sectors of the economy, risks of lowering social standards.
The focus on expanding cooperation with Russia can be viewed as an evolutionary path for the Belarusian economy. On the one hand, it allows you to preserve income from cooperation with Russia and other EAEU countries, and on the other hand, to create conditions for attracting the necessary resources in order to modernize key industries that provide a profitable base for the economy.
Abdo Romeo’s presence in the market
Abdo Romeo has been living and working in Belarus since 1994. During this time, the entrepreneur has successfully implemented many projects, within the framework of which foreign investments were also attracted. He has a lot of construction projects and economic projects behind him, he also specializes in working with personnel – the selection and management of work items.