The development of bilateral cooperation with the CIS member states is one of the priorities of the foreign policy and foreign economic relations of the Republic of Belarus. These priorities are based on a number of historical, economic, political and cultural factors.
Belarus is interested in building equal and mutually beneficial relations with the CIS countries. Trade and economic cooperation are the most important spheres of this activity. In 2014 the turnover with the CIS countries (excluding Russia) made up 8.2 billion dollars.
Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Moldova are our major trade partners accounting for more than 95 per cent of Belarusian export to CIS region (excluding Russia).
Diplomatic relations between Belarus and Ukraine were established on December 27, 1991. The Belarusian embassy in Ukraine has been functioning since October 1993. The countries have signed over 170 bilateral international treaties. The Treaty of Friendship, Good-Neighborhood and Cooperation and the Free Trade Agreement are the most important agreements regulating bilateral political and economic cooperation.
Meetings of the Intergovernmental Belarusian-Ukrainian joint commission for trade and economic cooperation take place regularly. Its twenty-second meeting was held in May 2013 in Kiev.
In June 2013 the President of the Republic of Belarus paid an official visit to Ukraine. During this visit, the parties exchanged the ratifications confirming the entry into force of the Intergovernmental Treaty of the interstate Border of May 12, 1997.
In May and October 2013 meetings at the highest level were held in Astana and Minsk (the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the summit of heads of states of the CIS).The President of the Republic of Belarus held the meeting with the Prime Minister of Ukraine who was attending the meeting of the Council of Heads of Governments of the CIS in Minsk.
In October 2013 the Prime minister of Ukraine paid an official visit to Belarus.
In March 2014 the meeting of the President of the Republic of Belarus with the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (The Parliament of Ukraine), i.a. the President of Ukraine A.Turchinov, was conducted in Belarus.
In December 2014 the working visit of the President of the Republic of Belarus to Ukraine took place.
In 2014 trade turnover with Ukraine amounted to 5.8 billion dollars, export exceeded 4 billion dollars.
In 2014 the bulk of Belarusian exports to Ukraine accounted for the supply of the following goods: oil products, tires, potash fertilizers, tractors, petroleum coke and bitumen, mixed fertilizers, polished glass, polymers of ethylene, trucks, refrigerators and freezers, unalloyed steel rods, hosiery, parts and equipment for cars and tractors.
There are more than 100 business entities of distribution network (40 with Belarusian capital) and 9 joint assembly plants.
Two countries have an outlook for more intense scientific and technical cooperation and further development in the fields of agriculture, transport, science, culture, education, sport and tourism.
The political and economic cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Moldova is developing gradually. Diplomatic relations between the two states were established on November 19, 1992. More than 60 treaties and agreements have been signed by the states since then.
In September 2014 the President of the Republic of Belarus paid an official visit to the Republic of Moldova.
One of the most important areas of cooperation is the sphere of agriculture (mainly the supply of Belarusian equipment).
The first project in the sphere of industrial cooperation was implemented in 2009. Minsk Tractor Works and “Agrofermotech” company are implementing the project of the assembly of tractors for gardens and vineyards in Moldova on the basis of the machine-sets produced at the Belarusian Smorgon aggregate Plant.
In 2012 OJSC “Holding Management Company “Belkommunmash” started assembling trolleybuses in Chisinau.
Belarus is one of the main consumers of the Moldavian vines.
The 15th session of the Intergovernmental Belarusian-Moldavian Commission for trade-economic cooperation took place in December 2013 in Chisinau. At the meeting the sides discussed issues related to the development of cooperation in industry, agriculture, science, health, sports, etc.
In 2014 trade turnover with Moldova amounted to 411.8 million dollars, export totaled 262.2 dollars.
Belarus and Azerbaijan increased interaction in all spheres of mutual interest.
Diplomatic relations between the countries were established on June 11, 1993. Since 2007 five official visits at the highest level have taken place, 3 visits of the Prime Minister of Belarus to Azerbaijan, 8 meetings of the Intergovernmental Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation were conducted.
In 2014 the trade turnover with Azerbaijan totaled 330.8 million dollars, Belarusian export amounted to 322.1 million dollars.
In 2014 the bulk of Belarusian exports to Azerbaijan accounted for the supply of the following goods: woodware, tractors, parts and accessories for cars and tractors, milk and dairy products, engines, medicines, products from ferrous metals.
In 2014 the main imports from Azerbaijan were oil products, acyclic hydrocarbons, clay, fruit and vegetable juices, polymers of ethylene.
Since 2007 a number of joint projects in the field of industrial cooperation have been launched including assembly lines of Belarusian tractors, trucks, truck cranes and elevators. The leader of the Belarusian-Azerbaijani cooperation in the sphere of industrial cooperation is Ganja automobile plant.
The distribution network of Belarusian producers on Azerbaijani market is composed of 3 business entities and 30 dealers, representing the interests of more than 40 Belarusian exporters.
In Jan-Sept 2014 the total of the direct Azerbaijani investments in Belarus amounted to 5.5 million dollars.
Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Armenia were established on June 11, 1993. More than 60 agreements regulating different cooperation spheres have been signed by the countries.
Armenia has formed a commodity distribution network of Belarusian companies and uses it to increase the supply of trucks, municipal service and road-building vehicles. Three companies in Armenia are owned with Belarusian capital. AR-BE Armenian-Belarusian Trading House selling more than 12000 items manufactured in Belarus was opened in Yerevan in September 2010.
In 2014 the trade turnover with Armenia totaled 38.6 million dollars; Belarusian export amounted to 29.2 million dollars.
Direct investments from Armenia in January-September 2014 amounted to 7.3 million dollars.
The Belarusian-Armenian commission for trade and economic cooperation coordinates bilateral trade. Since its creation in 2000, 11 meetings of the Commission were held.
Diplomatic relations between Belarus and Georgia were established in January, 1994. Georgia is the perspective trade partner of the Republic of Belarus in Transcaucasia.
In 2014 the trade turnover with Georgia totaled 64.18 million dollars, export amounted to 23.1 million dollars.
The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Belarusian-Georgian commission for Economic Cooperation was held In February, 2015 in Minsk.
The Republic of Belarus plans to enhance bilateral cooperation with Georgia in the sphere of industry, agriculture, transport, IT development, medicine, sport, tourism and education.
Belarus and Kazakhstan have established a fruitful dialogue. Bilateral high-level visits are conducted on a regular basis. Presidents and Prime Ministers of two states meet each other regularly in the framework of CIS, CSTO and Eurasian integration.
Official visits of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Minsk in May, 2012 and of the President of the Republic of Belarus to Astana in October, 2013 confirmed the strategic character of the relations between our countries.
In 2014 the trade turnover between two countries amounted to 1171.4 million dollars. The Belarusian export to Kazakhstan totaled 877.6 million dollars.
Diplomatic relations between two countries were established on September 16, 1992. The Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in Kazakhstan was founded in 1997. The Department of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus has been functioning in Almaaty since July 2002. The Embassy of Kazakhstan in Belarus was established in 1995. The legislative base of today’s bilateral cooperation includes over 80 international treaties and documents.
Traditionally, Kazakhstan has become the third important partner of Belarus in terms of foreign trade with CIS countries (after Russia and Ukraine and our neighbors).
The bulk of Belarusian exports to Kazakhstan accounted for the supply of the following goods: milk and dairy products, agricultural equipment, tires, tractors, sugar, lorries, furniture, petroleum products.
In January-November of 2014 the volume of foreign trade in services between Belarus and Kazakhstan amounted to 88.8 million dollars. The export of services totaled 64.5 million dollars.
In recent years, in Kazakhstan 13 assemblies of Belarusian equipment have been organized. Quarry and mine equipment, tractors, combine harvesters, engines, balers, elevators, several types of towed agricultural vehicles are being assembled. Since 2011, the assembly of powerful tractor models “Belarus-3022DTS.1”, new models of combines and special equipment based on MAZ have been organized.
In November, 2013 the Days of Culture of Kazakhstan in Belarus were held, in April 2014 the Days of Culture of Belarus in Kazakhstan took place. In 2012 officially opened the Abai Centre of the Kazakh language, history and culture in Belarusian National Technical University and the Center for Language and Culture of Belarus in the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University.
Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Belarus and the Kyrgyz Republic were established on January 21, 1993. Kyrgyz Embassy in Belarus was founded in 1995, Belarus Embassy in Kyrgyzstan – in 1999.
In 2014 the trade turnover between Belarus and Kyrgyz Republic totaled 95.3 million dollars. Exports amounted to 88.8 million dollars.
Belarus major exports to Kyrgyzstan are trucks, tires, sugar, tractors, harvesting and threshing equipment, road- and building machinery, malt, refrigerators, chipboard, parts and accessories for cars and tractors, washing machines, ceramic tiles, carpets, medicines.
Radiators, equipment for thermal processing of materials, dried vegetables, cotton fiber are the main goods imported from Kyrgyzstan.
Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Tajikistan were established on 5 September 1996, with the Tajik Embassy in Minsk opening in 1997 and the Belarusian Embassy in Dushanbe opening in 2011.
An official visit of Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon to Belarus in May 2014 gave a new impulse for raising bilateral relations. During the visit, the Parties discussed promising avenues of bilateral cooperation, confirmed mutual desire to strengthen and enhance their interaction in the international arena, signed bilateral agreements creating new favorable conditions for long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation.
Belarus’ foreign trade turnover with Tajikistan amounted to 35 million dollars in 2014. The share of export amounted to 30.6 million dollars.
Tractors, truck-tractors, sugar, fibreboard, chipboard, fluorides, fluorosilicates, fluoroaluminates, refrigerators, freezers, refrigeration equipment, carpets, malt were the main export items to Tajikistan.
Most popular import goods from Tajikistan were cotton fiber, cotton yarn, textile clothing, dried fruit and nut mixes.
Currently the parties have been working under the implementing a number of major investment projects in the agricultural sector, including establishing assembly plants in Tajikistan.
The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tajikistan established the Belarus – Tajikistan Joint Business Council.
In September 2012 the Tajik Technical University named after M.S. Osimi opened a new Faculty of Engineering Technology – a branch of Belarusian National Technical University.
In March 2012 the Belarus – Tajikistan Society for Friendship and Cultural Ties was set up in Minsk.
In recent years the cooperation between Belarus and Turkmenistan reached a qualitatively new level. Diplomatic relations between Belarus and Turkmenistan were established on January 21, 1993. The Embassy of Turkmenistan started its activity in Minsk in October 1995. The Embassy of the Republic of Belarus began to work in Ashgabat in 2002.
The two countries maintain an active political dialogue. Since 2009, mutual high-level visits and meetings of Heads of States within international events are being held annually. In October, 2014 an official visit of Turkmen President Berdymukhamedov G.M. to the Republic of Belarus took place.
In 2014 the trade with Turkmenistan amounted to 194.9 million dollars, exports – to 188.7 million dollars.
Belarus supplies to Turkmenistan mainly goods with high added value: tractors, road construction machinery, machinery for soil cultivation, trucks, tires, pharmaceuticals, food products (sugar, cheese, malt, milk powder, butter, confectionery), etc.
The main imports from Turkmenistan are cotton yarn and fiber, fabric, knitted fabric, combed wool, bed and table linen.
Belarus and Turkmenistan are jointly implementing a large investment project: the construction of the Garlyk mining and processing plant for the production of potash fertilizers.
The creation of the Intergovernmental Belarusian-Turkmen Commission for Economic Cooperation in 2008 made a substantial contribution to the growth of mutual trade and business development, sixth meeting of which was held in October 2014 in Minsk.
The educational cooperation is becoming more intensive as well. There are currently over 8.2 thousand Turkmen students getting their education in Belarusian universities and special professional schools. The cooperation programs in the field of culture and art, tourism, physical culture and sports have been signed and are implemented.
Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Uzbekistan were established on 21 January 1993.
Belarus’ foreign trade turnover with Uzbekistan amounted to 102.8 million dollars in 2014. The share of export amounted 67 million dollars.
Parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings, tractors, medicaments, liquefied / compressed gases containers, stoves, ranges, grates, cookers, barbecues, gas rings, plate warmers and similar domestic appliances (non electrical), fibreboard, chipboard, sugar, tractors, refrigerators, freezers, commercial refrigeration equipment, synthetic filament yarn, tyres, road-building machinery were the most main export items to Uzbekistan.
The bulk of imports from Uzbekistan comprised cotton fiber, cotton yarn, cars, fresh or dried grapes, mixtures of nuts or dried fruits, textile clothing (sweaters, pullovers, cardigans, waistcoats).
More detailed information on cooperation between Belarus and CIS countries can be found at the web pages of Belarusian diplomatic missions in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.