Trade and Economic cooperation
Belarus and Latvia are united by stable trade and economic ties. Latvia is an important trade partner, investor of the Republic of Belarus as well as a major transit corridor for Belarusian export to third countries.
In 2021 Latvia ranked 14th in terms of trade and 10th in terms of exports among the countries with which Belarus conducts foreign trade operations.
Trade turnover between Belarus and Latvia, million USD
In 2021 trade with Latvia amounted to 646 million USD and increased by 64% or 252.5 million USD compared to the previous year due to the increase in exports by 68% and imports by 49%.
The basis of merchandise exports to Latvia is forestry and woodworking products, metal products, building materials, food and cosmetic products, and furniture.
Belarus imports electrical machinery and equipment, medicines, food and textile products from Latvia.
Export of services amounted to 135 million USD and increased by 4.6 million USD or 3.5% compared to 2020, import is at the level of 60 million USD and decreased by 7.6 million USD or 11.3%. Transport (67% of the total volume of trade in services), other business (17%) and computer services (10%) are major services in foreign trade turnover.
In 2021 Latvian invested to the economy of Belarus 69 million USD (98.2% compared to 2020), including direct investments – 63 million USD (102.4%).
309 enterprises with the Latvian capital operate in Belarus. Latvian investors show interest to the projects in the field of trade, services, woodworking, pharmaceuticals, food production and other products.
The following joint projects have been implemented: Ancols and Partners restaurants, New Europe Cinema cinemas, Jysk stores, modernization of Rem Pro cable TV and Internet networks, Food Union milk processing plant in Gomel, Olainfarm pharmaceutical company in Grodno.
The priority area of the Belarusian-Latvian cooperation remains in transport and logistics sectors. Promising is the further development of cooperation in woodworking, pharmaceutical, food industry, and tourism.
The electronic platform of the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange for the purchase of Belarusian products is actively used by Latvian companies, their number is constantly growing.
Belarusian manufacturers are interested in supplying various high-quality products to meet the needs of Latvia, including electric buses, agricultural machinery, elevator equipment, cable products.
Significant potential for the development of bilateral cooperation exists in the service sector, especially in the information and communication technology sector, which demonstrates steady growth.
Work is underway to improve the automotive infrastructure and roadside services, create joint tourism products and routes in order to maximize the effective use of the tourism potential of the two countries.
Issues of developing bilateral relations are discussed during the meetings of the Belarusian-Latvian intergovernmental commission on economic, scientific and technical cooperation chaired by the ministers of transport, the Business Cooperation Council chaired by the chiefs of railways, the Joint Commission on International Road Communication, the working group on transport.
In 2018 in Minsk the prime ministers of the two countries signed an intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding and an Action Plan on the main areas of economic cooperation in the medium term.
The 14th meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission was held on October 2, 2019 in Minsk.
In 2020 despite the widespread restrictions on trade among partner countries due to the pandemic and measures against coronavirus, Belarus managed to ensure the growth of household incomes against the backdrop of a slight decline in GDP, maintain the macroeconomic balance of the economy, and achieve a positive balance of foreign trade in goods and services.
The Belarusian way of dealing with the consequences of the pandemic subsequently went to most countries of the world. Measures to support the population and the economy proved to be effective.
In 2021 compared to the previous year the GDP of Belarus grew by 2.3%, the volume of industrial production increased by 6.5%. Export of goods increased by 11 billion USD or 37%, services — by 1.4 billion USD or 16.5%. The balance of foreign trade in goods and services was positive in the amount of 3.8 billion USD (better by 1.9 billion USD).
The trade turnover between Belarus and Latvia in 2020 decreased by 19% or 94 million USD, but in 2021 it showed a significant increase — by 64% or 253 million USD.
Belarus has been building good neighborly relations with the countries of the world for three decades and has achieved significant success in the development of the country. Belarus and Latvia are united by close trade and economic ties, long-standing friendship and good neighbourly relations of peoples, family ties of Belarusians and Latvians. This is a solid basis for maintaining and further deepening mutually beneficial cooperation.
“Belarus respects the independence and state sovereignty of countries, respects their national symbols and the desire to live in peace and harmony,” President of the Republic of Belarus A.G. Lukashenko emphasized on November 18, 2021 in a congratulatory message to the people of Latvia on the occasion of the Republic.
Despite the unfriendly steps of the neighboring countries favorable conditions for the work of both local businesses and representatives of foreign business circles have been preserved in the Republic of Belarus. Foreign business and the rights of investors are under reliable protection/ Business is provided with maximum support, preferential treatment, significant tax and other benefits.