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Economic relations

Bilateral trade remains fairly undeveloped, although it has been growing steadily since 2002 (€210M in 2002, €471M in 2005, €600M in 2007).

In recent years, French imports of oil products have increased significantly, moving from €8M in 2000 to €322M in 2005, with our trade balance deficit with this country increasing similarly (€39M in 2002, €274M in 2005). In 2006, hydrocarbons accounted for 72% of total French imports, against 12% in 2001, 47% in 2002, 80% in 2003, and 86% in 2005. The remaining 28% is evenly divided among the following products: furniture, sawn timber, crates and packaging, clothing, parts for machine tools, strands and cables. In 2009, our exports amounted for € 132 million, against € 111 million of imports. French exports are essentially composed of industrial equipment (including machines for various types of manufacturing: textile yarns, masts, industrial instruments), chemicals, electrical devices (telephony, in particular), pharmaceuticals, plastic material, meats, metalwork and alcohol.

French investments in Belarus are limited: in 2010, they constituted only 1% of FDI. France has a presence in the high technology and pharmaceutical fields (subsidiaries of Sanofi-Aventis and Laboratoires Servier). About a dozen French business owners have set up companies in Belarus.

A delegation of MEDEF International went to Belarus 25 to 27 January 2009. The most diverse business segments were represented: banking, hotel industry, construction, agriculture, wines and spirits, transport, communications, flax industry, etc. Members of the mission met with First Vice-Prime Minister V. Semachko, economic ministers, many Belarusian business leaders and representatives from the six regions and six principal cities of Belarus. Exceptionally, on his initiative, President Lukashenko received part of the delegation at length, thereby confirming the desire of local governments to strengthen France’s presence in their country very substantially.

Updated on 04.03.11

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