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Why Do So Few Tourists Visit Belarus?
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Belarus remains a blank spot on the map for many foreigners. A mere 137,000 tourists visited the country in 2013—twenty-one times fewer than the number who visited tiny Estonia. Onerous visa requirements, combined with an underdeveloped service industry, undermine the...
7 January 2015
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The Russian Contagion Spreads to Belarus – Belarus Economy Digest

Belarus's GDP growth managed to strengthen in November. But despite this, many signals about an upcoming downturn have appeared. The Russian economic contagion began to spread to Belarus through trade and informational channels. The government reacted by introducing a de-facto...

24 December 2014
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Belarus Will Start the New Year with a Wishful Budget

On 11 December, the Belarusian parliament took only 50 minutes to adopt its 2015 budget. The rapid adoption of the budget highlights the parliament's puppet status - it could not even be troubled to hold even demonstrative discussions over the...

17 December 2014
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Cargo Trains Smuggle Cigarettes from Belarus into the European Union

Since 2014 the pattern of illegal exports from Belarus to EU has moved towards larger consignments. Large quantities of detained tobacco found on cargo trains. On 6 November Jury Siańko became the Head of the State Customs Committee....

9 December 2014
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Why Belarusians Turned to Shopping Abroad

With the economy dominated by the state and its illiberal trade laws, many Belarusians are increasingly taking to shopping abroad. In the the middle of November, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group reported that customers from Belarus ranked fifth in the...

3 December 2014
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Belarusian Economy Sinks to Uncertainty – Belarus Economy Digest

Belarus displayed modest but stable growth during past couple of months. However, future prospects for growth remain uncertain, given the deteriorating economic situation in Russia along with the desire of the authorities to carry out several growth stimulating policies. Moreover, there...

25 November 2014
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Does Belarus Have High Social Capital? Understanding the Legatum Prosperity Index

Belarus ranks 53rd out of 142 countries in prosperity, ahead of Russia and EU member states Greece and Romania. The rankings stem from the Legatum Institute, a private think tank based in London. According to the ranking Belarus scores...

12 November 2014
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Poland, Belarus and Ukraine To Revive the Baltic – Black Sea Water Route

Belarus and Ukraine are currently studying the economic feasibility of reviving the E40 waterway which goes along the Vistula and Dnieper rivers. It will connect the Baltic and Black Seas and make inland shipping cheaper and more environmentally friendly. On...

3 November 2014
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Why Belarus Outranks CIS states on Human Development Index

Belarus ranks 53rd out of 187 countries in the 2014 Human Development Index (HDI). That places it ahead of fellow post-Soviet states Russia (57th), Kazakhstan (70th), and Ukraine (83rd). To measure development, HDI underscores the importance of “people and their...

29 October 2014
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Belarus May Introduce Forced Labour to Fight Sponging

On 20 October the government announced a plan to introduce punishment for sponging ('tuneyadstvo’). It was practiced in Soviet times and it may return to Belarus again. About 10% of population able to work do not pay taxes although...

24 October 2014
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The Unwanted Economic Union in Exchange for Money – Digest of the Belarusian Economy

The main economic events for October in Belarus revolve around Russia: the ratification of the Eurasian Economic Union, the continued fighting over the re-export of banned European foodstuffs to Russia, and, finally, an argument over Russia’s oil tax manoeuvre. Russia’s...

26 September 2014
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Belarus Smuggles EU Food to Russia Despite Sanctions

On 19 September Russian Agricultural Control announced that Russia can restrict the imports of fish and dairy from a number of Belarusian companies. These companies allegedly violate the sanctions regime by re-exporting EU products under fake labels. Since the very...

25 September 2014
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Outlook for Inflation Improves, Reserves and Income Grow – Belarus Economy Digest

Price increases for regulated goods and services, as well as the abolition of price regulations on meat had a stimulating effect on inflation in Belarus. In the first half of 2014 a gradual reduction of Belarus' foreign currency reserves occurred...

8 September 2014
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Tanks and Tractors: Belarus’ New Deals in the Developing World

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei headed to South Africa and Nigeria for a round of meetings. After losing its partners in the Middle East and at the time when relations with Latin America are stagnating, Belarus is seeking new...

2 September 2014
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Belarus – an Outsourcing Haven?

High-tech outsourcing is one of the most dominant trends in today’s economy, but few would associate it with Belarus, better known for its heavy machinery exports than IT experts. This appears to finally be changing. RnR Market Research projects...