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    Belarus Economy 1997

      Economy - overview At the time of independence in late 1991, Belarus was one of the mostdeveloped of the former Soviet states, inheriting a modern - by Soviet standards- machine building sector and robust agricultural sector. However, the breakupof the Soviet Union and its traditional trade ties in December 1991, as wellas the government's failure to embrace market reforms, has resulted in a sharpeconomic decline. Privatization is virtually nonexistent and the system ofstate orders and distribution persists. Although President LUKASHENKO pronounceshis 1995 macro stabilization policies a success - annual inflation droppedfrom 2,220% in 1994 to 244% in 1995 - the IMF has criticized his exchangerate policies and suspended Minsk's $300 million standby program in November1995. The overvalued ruble has especially hurt Belarusian exporters, mostof which now operate at a loss. In addition, the January 1995 Customs Unionagreement with Russia - which required Minsk to adjust its foreign trade practicesto mirror Moscow's - has resulted in higher import tariffs for Belarusianconsumers; tariffs rose from 5%-20% to 20%-40%. In general, as of the beginningof 1997, Belarus has badly lagged in moving away from the old centrally plannedpolicies of the former USSR.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $51.9 billion (1996 estimate as extrapolatedfrom World Bank estimate for 1994)

      GDP - real growth rate 3% (1996 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $5,000 (1996 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 21%
      industry: 49%
      services: 30% (1991 est.)

      Inflation rate - consumer price index 33% (1996)

      Labor force
      total: 4.731 million
      by occupation: industry and construction 36%, agriculture and forestry 19%, services45% (1995)

      Unemployment rate 3.1% officially registered unemployed (December 1996); large numbersof underemployed workers

      revenues : $NA
      expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

      Industries tractors, metal-cutting machine tools, off-highway dump trucks up to110-metric-ton load capacity, wheel-type earth movers for construction andmining, eight-wheel-drive, high-flotation trucks with cargo capacity of 25metric tons for use in tundra and roadless areas, equipment for animal husbandryand livestock feeding, motorcycles, television sets, chemical fibers, fertilizer,linen fabric, wool fabric, radios, refrigerators, other consumer goods

      Industrial production growth rate 3.2% (1996 est.)

      Electricity - capacity 7.21 million kW (1994)

      Electricity - production 23.7 billion kWh (1996)

      Electricity - consumption per capita 2,553 kWh (1995 est.)

      Agriculture - products grain, potatoes, vegetables; meat, milk

      total value: $5.2 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
      commodities: machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
      partners: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany

      total value: $6.8 billion (c.i.f., 1996)
      commodities: fuel, natural gas, industrial raw materials, textiles, sugar
      partners: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany

      Debt - external $2 billion (September 1995 est.)

      Economic aid
      recipient: ODA, $186 million (1993)
      note : commitments, $3,930 million ($1,845 million disbursements), 1992-95

      Currency Belarusian ruble (BR)

      Exchange rates Belarusian rubles per US$1 - 16,613 (September monthly average 1996),15,500(yearend 1996), 11,500 (yearend 1995), 10,600 (yearend 1994), 699 (yearend 1993), 15 (yearend 1992)

      Fiscal year calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Belarus on this page is re-published from the 1997 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Belarus Economy 1997 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belarus Economy 1997 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 06-Mar-02
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