Russia-Belarus Bilateral Trade Up 16.9% In H2 2023

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Bilateral trade between Belarus and Russia increased 16.9% in January-June 2023 year-on-year, according to the Russian State Secretary of the Russia-Belarus Union State, Dmitry Mezentsev.

“The expansion of cooperation in industry, agriculture, petrochemicals and the service sector and successful interaction at the regional level make a fundamental contribution to the sustained growth in mutual trade between Belarus and Russia, which rose 16.9% in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.” Mezentsev told reporters in Minsk on Wednesday (August 30).

Mezentsev added that Belarusian exports to the Russian market increased 37.7% in the first half of 2023, and said that “The two parties are implementing 16 joint industrial projects and discussing joint initiatives in aircraft building, the production of equipment and components for auto and agricultural machinery, and in a number of other areas.”

Belarus handles some parallel imports to Russia, selling items that European manufacturers prefer to be distribute into the Russian market directly. The main products that Belarus exports to Russia are  local cheese (considered an essential delicacy in many Russian dishes), in addition to agricultural vehicles, trucks and tractors. The main products that Russia exports to Belarus are crude petroleum, automobiles, and scrap metals for re-processing.

Belarus and Russia are both members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and share a free trade agreement. The country is also heavily sanctioned by the West and has also been looking for new export markets. It signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement with China earlier this year, and via the EAEU – and Vietnam’s free trade agreement with the bloc, is targeting ASEAN as a supply chain route.

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