In 2018, The United Nations Human Development Report Office included Belarus in the countries with very high development. A year later, the UNECE reports described the Belarusian economy as well-developed. Since then, Belarus seems to be going through a reorientation crisis, and the pace of its economic growth has slowed down.
Many potential investors wonder which way Belarus is going to go. The purpose of this article is to throw some light on the current state of affairs in Belarus in order to determine whether the country is a safe target for direct investments. We shall provide a general description of the economic, political and social factors that might affect that decision.
We shall also draw the reader’s attention to the potential opportunities provided by the Belarusian construction industry, as revealed by Abdo Romeo Abdo’s active involvement in that field.
Belarus’ Geopolitical Situation
The country’s international position is determined by its favourable geographic location between the most lucrative markets on the continent, namely:
- The European Union
- Russia and the CIS
- Western Asia
- Scandinavian countries
Thus, Belarus becomes a convenient multi-directional trade channel, and it intends to stay that way by maintaining a geographically unbiased and 360-degree friendly orientation. Its geographic advantage is greatly enhanced by the country’s well-developed infrastructure that offers:
- An extensive and efficient transportation network
- Intelligent logistic processing
- Simple communication procedures
The main aspects of the Belarusian economy are the following:
- It is based mainly on the production industry.
- The production is focused on high technology export commodities and employs highly skilled workers.
- Natural resources are used mainly for processing, like oil refining and the food industry.
- Building material production, including timber processing, is particularly well-developed, and it is famous internationally for its high-quality and reasonably priced products.
Abdo Romeo Abdo’s successful involvement in the construction of the commercial property in Minsk points to the profitable nature of that business in Belarus. The country might be providing low-cost and almost unlimited investment opportunities in that industry.
Belarusian Foreign Relations
The country’s foreign affairs appear to have mainly three aims:
- Maintaining its status of a sovereign First World state
- Promoting its export commodities on foreign markets
- Attracting foreign investments, especially FDI
Belarus’ government tries to achieve those goals by employing two fundamental strategies.
360-Degree International Orientation
Belarus used to produce almost exclusively for Russia in the past. Later, the ratio of other CIS countries to Russia in the Belarusian export production increased significantly. Currently, the CIS and Russia account for only about 60% of all Belarusian export, while the rest goes to the European Union and the UK.
Likewise, Russia used to account for virtually all foreign investment in Belarus, and its concentration on the Belarusian investment market is still high. Nonetheless, Belarus also stays on the list of members in global financial institutions. Plus, China’s presence in the Belarusian investment sector increases noticeably.
Favourable Domestic Climate for Foreign Investors
The government succeeded in creating a foreigner-friendly atmosphere of transparency, stability and mutual benefit for foreign investors. Consequently, almost three-quarters of all the money from abroad used to come as FDI. Belarus now offers foreign investors:
- Guaranteed legal protection
- High-level security for their assets
- Unlimited capital investment anywhere in the country
- Lenient taxation system
- Mutually profitable cooperation in its six free economic zones
Human Development in Belarus
Despite economic crises and its reorientation confusion, the Belarusian nation has succeeded in maintaining a very high level of human development.
- The healthcare system is well-organised and operates effectively. The rate of doctors per capita is almost as high as in Sweden.
- Child mortality is much lower than even in the UK.
- The literacy rate is 99%.
- The unemployment rate is low.
- The index of wealth inequality is one of the lowest among the European countries.
- Belarus’ seems to have a solid foundation for successful economic growth, and it appears to adhere to the fundamental principles that attracted foreign investments in the past.
- Its economy, the commercial property construction, in particular, provides excellent opportunities.
- The government’s friendly and open attitudes towards foreign investors serve to enhance those opportunities.
- The general impression is that Belarus has created a system that makes investments in its economy sufficiently safe and potentially profitable.