Measured by the macroeconomic variables, the Belarusian economy was growing at a stable pace until recently, at least. The subject of this article is how the radical reorientation that the country is currently undergoing might affect its business environment in the short-term future.
We shall review the most significant aspects of the Belarusian economy to decide whether investing in that country would be safe and profitable. We shall also draw the reader’s attention to the opportunities the construction in Belarus offers, as exemplified by Abdo Romeo Abdo’s successful involvement in that industry.
Human Development in Belarus
The UN HDI indicates that Belarus has succeeded in maintaining a very high level of human development.
- The healthcare system is well-developed.
- The level of child mortality remains low.
- 99% of the population is literate.
- The distribution of income is one of the fairest in the world.
Industry in Belarus
Belarusian industry has always been a large part of the country’s economy, and the production has been oriented mainly for export. What is particularly impressive is that Belarusian production isn’t limited to the food industry and oil transit. Instead, the country strives to be a significant contributor to the international high-tech market.
A large part of the exported products consists of electronics, software technology, medicine, computers and optical equipment. According to the reports published by the UNECE in 2019, the Belarusian industry was well-developed and employed highly skilled workers.
However, recent events in the country reveal two general trends that seem to contradict each other yet might be interrelated.
Radical Reorientation in Trade
The Belarusian export production industry used to work almost exclusively for Russia and the CIS until recently. Now, the country’s trying to expand its international trade with a 360-degree orientation.
The overall pattern of its foreign trade relations with the CIS and the West has changed radically in just a few years. The EU and the UK now consume about 40% of the country’s export commodities.
Apart from that, Belarus and China currently work on building strong and mutually beneficial economic relations, mainly in the investment sector, and the Chinese participation in the Belarusian economy continues to increase.
On the other hand, Belarus lately appears more disorientated in its home affairs and geopolitically. Many countries closely observe Belarus trying to understand which way it’s going. Possibly as a result of that, the country’s economy has stopped developing, although the situation is probably still far from economic stagnation.
One possible explanation is that the two trends may be two sides of the same process. Yes, the country is actively reorientating itself, and that’s why it’s less easy to predict the short-term progression of events.
If that explanation is correct, we may conclude that Belarus is currently going through an acute reorientation crisis.
Nevertheless, all the general characteristics of the Belarusian economy remain:
- Its economy continues to rely mainly on production.
- The production is mainly export-oriented and strives to stay on the high-tech market.
- Belarus intends to keep its open and friendly 360-degree orientation internationally.
- China continues to strengthen its position in the field, mainly via the investment sector.
Belarusian Construction Industry
Belarus also produces high-quality and cheap building materials, almost half of which go for export:
- The foreign demand for them is very high.
- The local demand is low due to the slow development of the domestic market orientation.
Yet, the construction of the commercial property can be highly profitable, as Abdo Romeo Abdo’s success in that industry confirms. His companies have been operating successfully for over two decades, constructing commercial buildings in Minsk.
Judging by his companies’ shareholding activity, there are potentially lucrative opportunities in the Belarusian construction industry. And the high quality and low cost of the Belarusian building materials create an excellent foundation for profitable investments.
Despite the Belarusian reorientation crisis, the general characteristics of the country’s economy have remained unchanged so far, and they have worked for cooperation with foreign investors in the past. Plus, the government strives to sustain the atmosphere of friendly transparency and mutually beneficial stability for foreign investors, making the prospects of investing in the Belarusian industry potentially attractive.