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Country Brief

Belarus is a landlocked nation in Eastern Europe that shares borders with Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine. While trade is heavily reliant upon petroleum oils, energy exports are complemented by vehicles, fertilizers, and chemical products. The most important export market is Russia. Higher value exports are destined for CIS countries, whereas oil products are traded mainly with Europe. Russia meanwhile is the biggest source of Belarusian imports, which are comprised largely of energy products. Although Belarus is not yet a WTO member, it has expanded market access as a signatory to the CIS Treaty on a Free Trade Area and a participant in the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union. Nevertheless, greater regional integration will require enhanced unification and harmonization efforts. In addition, trade is still hampered by limited financial access, administrative and regulatory barriers, and slow privatization.