- GDP (PPP):
- $202.8 billion
- 1.8% 5-year compound annual growth
- $21,690 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- Public Debt:
Belarus’s economic freedom score is 51.0, making its economy the 145th freest in the 2023 Index. Its score is 2.0 points worse than last year. Belarus is ranked 44th among 44 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is below the regional and world averages.
The Belarusian economy remains repressed. Poor scores for property rights and freedom from corruption reflect weak foundations of economic freedom. Corruption remains widespread, and an ineffective judiciary and time-consuming bureaucracy affect the enforcement of property rights. State involvement in the economy is pervasive and undermines regulatory efficiency and flexibility.
President Aleksandr Lukashenka has been in power since 1994 and controls all branches of government in this Eastern European nation, which has one of Europe’s worst human rights records. After Lukashenka won reelection again in the 2020 presidential election, which international observers viewed as rigged, protestors called for him to resign in favor of the main opposition candidate, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. Industries and state-controlled agriculture are not competitive. New non-Russian foreign investment has essentially disappeared, largely because of Belarus’s unfavorable investment climate. Belarus is heavily dependent on Russia for its energy supplies and joined the Russia-backed Eurasian Economic Union in 2015.
Rule of Law
The overall rule of law is weak in Belarus. The country’s property rights score is below the world average; its judicial effectiveness score is below the world average; and its government integrity score is below the world average.
The top individual and corporate tax rates are, respectively, 13 percent and 18 percent. The tax burden equals 22.8 percent of GDP. Three-year government spending and budget balance averages are, respectively, 37.5 percent and –1.2 percent of GDP. Public debt equals 41.2 percent of GDP.
Arbitrary application of business-related laws and regulations to discriminate against the private sector is common. Lack of independence in the courts makes for a relatively lawless labor dispute resolution environment. The most recent available inflation rate is 9.5 percent.
The trade-weighted average tariff rate is 4.6 percent, but trade flows remain restricted by various nontariff barriers. Belarus is not a member of the World Trade Organization. Extensive state ownership and government control severely limit investment and financial activity.