Belarus - Economy

Economy

Most of the Belarusian economy remains state-controlled and has been described as "Soviet-style." Thus, 51.2% of Belarusians are employed by state-controlled companies, 47.4% are employed by private companies (of which 5.7% are partially foreign-owned), and 1.4% are employed by foreign companies. The country relies on Russia for various imports, including petroleum. Important agricultural products include potatoes and cattle byproducts, including meat. As of 1994, Belarus's main exports included heavy machinery (especially tractors), agricultural products, and energy products.

Historically, textiles and wood processing have constituted a large part of industrial activity. As of the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus was one of the world's most industrially developed states by percentage of GDP as well as the richest CIS member-state. Economically, Belarus involved itself in the CIS, Eurasian Economic Community, and Union with Russia.

In the 1990s, however, industrial production plunged due to decreases in imports, investment, and demand for Belarusian products from its trading partners. GDP only began to rise in 1996; this coincided with the implementation of social welfare and state subsidies. In 2006, GDP amounted to US$83.1 billion in purchasing power parity (PPP) dollars (estimate), or about $8,100 per capita. In 2005, GDP increased by 9.9%; the inflation rate averaged 9.5%.

As of 2006, Belarus's largest trading partner is Russia, accounting for nearly half of total trade, and the European Union is Belarus's next largest trading partner, with nearly a third of foreign trade. Because of its failure to protect labour rights, however, Belarus lost its EU Generalized System of Preferences status on 21 June 2007, which raised tariff rates to their prior most favoured nation levels. Belarus applied to become a member of the World Trade Organization in 1993.

The labor force consists of more than four million people, among whom women hold slightly more jobs than men. In 2005, nearly a quarter of the population was employed by industrial factories. Employment is also high in agriculture, manufacturing sales, trading goods, and education. The unemployment rate, according to government statistics, was 1.5% in 2005. There were 679,000 unemployed Belarusians, two-thirds of whom were women. The unemployment rate has been in decline since 2003, and the overall rate of employment is the highest since statistics were first compiled in 1995.

The currency of Belarus is the Belarusian ruble (BYR). The currency was introduced in May 1992, replacing the Soviet ruble. The first coins of the Republic of Belarus were issued on 27 December 1996. The ruble was reintroduced with new values in 2000 and has been in use ever since. As part of the Union of Russia and Belarus, both states have discussed using a single currency along the same lines as the Euro. This led to a proposal that the Belarusian Ruble be discontinued in favour of the Russian ruble (RUB), starting as early as 1 January 2008. As of August 2007, the National Bank of Belarus no longer pegged the Belarusian Ruble to the Russian Ruble. The banking system of Belarus consists of thirty state-owned banks and one privatised bank. On 23 May 2011, the Belarusian Ruble depreciated 56% against the U.S. dollar. The depreciation was even steeper on the black market and financial collapse seemed imminent as citizens rushed to exchange their rubles for dollars, euros, durable goods, and canned goods. On 1 June 2011, Belarus requested an economic rescue package from the International Monetary Fund.

Read more about this topic:  Belarus

Other articles related to "economy":

Great Depression - Causes - Demand-driven - Keynesian
... Theory of Employment Interest and Money that lower aggregate expenditures in the economy contributed to a massive decline in income and to employment that was well below the average ... In such a situation, the economy reached equilibrium at low levels of economic activity and high unemployment ... basic idea was simple to keep people fully employed, governments have to run deficits when the economy is slowing, as the private sector would not ...
Quincy, Massachusetts - Economy
... several large employers in the financial services, insurance and health care sectors of the economy ...
Iran–Iraq War - Home Front - Iran - Economy
... The war furthered the decline of the Iranian economy that had begun with the revolution in 1978–79 ...
Scotland - Economy and Infrastructure
... Scotland has a western style open mixed economy that is closely linked with the rest of Europe and the wider world ... Traditionally, the Scottish economy has been dominated by heavy industry underpinned by the shipbuilding in Glasgow, coal mining and steel industries ... the 1970s and 1980s saw a shift from a manufacturing focus towards a more service-oriented economy ...
Katanga Province - Economy
... Copper mining is an important part of the economy of Katanga province ... Cobalt mining by individual contractors is also prevalent ...

Famous quotes containing the word economy:

    The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get “a good job,” but to perform well a certain work; and, even in a pecuniary sense, it would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, as for a livelihood merely, but for scientific, or even moral ends. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    Everyone is always in favour of general economy and particular expenditure.
    Anthony, Sir Eden (1897–1977)

    The basis of political economy is non-interference. The only safe rule is found in the self-adjusting meter of demand and supply. Do not legislate. Meddle, and you snap the sinews with your sumptuary laws.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)