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The EU has not yet ratified the bilateral Partnership and Cooperation Agreement concluded with Belarus in 1995, due to Belarus' lack of commitment to democracy and political and civil rights.

The bilateral trade and economic relations therefore remain covered by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement  - concluded by the European Community with the Soviet Union in 1989 and subsequently endorsed by Belarus.

Belarus applied for membership of the WTO in 1993. Its accession process is still ongoing.

In June 2007 the EU withdrew its trade preferences to Belarus under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences, in response to Belarus' violations of the core principles of the International Labour Organisation.

Belarus’ exports to the EU therefore are subject to import tariffs at the standard non-preferential rate. Once Belarus has shown that it respects basic trade union rights, the EU is ready to reverse its decision.

A Dialogue on Trade was established in October 2016, in order to facilitate exchanges on trade-related matters at experts’ level. The dialogue takes place twice a year in July and December.

Trade picture

  • The EU is Belarus' second main trade partner, representing 18.1% of the country's overall trade in goods, reaching almost €11 billion in 2019. Russia is Belarus' first trading partner with 49.2% of  Belarus' international trade.
  • The EU-Belarus bilateral trade in goods has been growing steadily, increasing by 45% over the last 10 years. The EU has a trade surplus of €2.6 billion.
  • Belarus' exports to the EU are mainly wood, mineral fuels and base metals. The EU exports mainly machinery, transport equipment and chemicals to Belarus.

EU-Belarus: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2018-2020, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2018 4.4 6.3 1.9
2019 4.2 6.7 2.5
2020 3.9 6.2 2.4

EU-Belarus: Trade in services

Trade in services 2017-2019, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2017 1.3 1.9 0.6
2018 1.6 2.2 0.6
2019 1.8 2.3 0.6

EU-Belarus: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2019, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2019 0.4 3.2 2.9

Unless otherwise mentioned “EU” concerns for all indicated years the current European Union of 27 Member States.

Date of retrieval: 12/04/2021

More statistics on Belarus

EU and Belarus

Although trade between the EU and Belarus has grown in recent years, the EU has suspended moves towards closer economic partnership with Belarus until political and civil conditions improve in Belarus.

The EU has also introduced an Outward Processing Trade regime for Belarus. This regime provides for additional import quota amounts for textiles and clothing manufacturers within the European Union so they can produce garments in Belarus that will return to the EU after processing.

Committees and Dialogues

The EU and Belarus meet twice a year in the Dialogue on Trade between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus and the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission to discuss trade-related matters and best practices.

Trading with Belarus