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05 January 2023, 15:38

Belarus' foreign trade surplus at record high $4.5bn

MINSK, 5 January (BelTA) – Belarus' foreign trade surplus has reached a historic high of $4.5 billion, BelTA learned from First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Nikolai Snopkov after the Belarus president hosted a government conference on 5 January to discuss the export of Belarusian goods.

According to Nikolai Snopkov, Belarus managed to secure pre-sanctions volumes of export in monetary terms. Foreign trade surplus reached a historic high of $4.5 billion as a result. “It is truly a historical figure and it is very important. Because it forms stability on the currency market and good supply of the country's gold and foreign exchange reserves. It actually forms stability and tranquility in the country's financial sphere as a whole. And we feel it in our wallets because of the historically high average salary in U.S. dollar terms.” BelTA reported earlier that the nominal accrued average monthly salary totaled Br1,648.2 in November 2022 or about $660 according to the exchange rate that was in effect back then.

As for the physical volumes of export, Nikolai Snopkov admitted that a handful of exports have yet to return to pre-sanctions levels. For instance, the volumes of investment import and the export of mechanical engineering industry products (tractors, harvesters), refrigerators exceed pre-sanctions levels. “We have to improve some positions this year. The most pleasant thing is that there is a possibility that we will reach pre-sanctions export levels of these goods,” the official stated.

Nikolai Snopkov attributed a decrease in volumes of shipments of some goods to the fact that some countries simply stopped trading with Belarus at some point and Belarus had to look for new markets. For instance, Belarus used to export $500 million worth of woodworking products, wooden panels to the European Union every year in the past and lost these volumes suddenly. “We needed time in order to reformat things, find new markets, contracts in other countries. Such as south, Central Asia,” he said.

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