a small and open economy, Belarus' development perspectives are intrinsically linked to its ability to produce and sell goods and services competitively in the global marketplace. While Belarus is an open economy, its trade links are concentrated both in terms of products and markets. Mineral goods –most importantly refined oil and potassium chloride - are the main export product accounting for more than 1/3 of total exports. Non mineral exports, including most importantly machinery, vehicles and transport equipment are mostly exported to Russia and other CIS markets, which account for 74 percent of non-mineral exports while the share of EU countries in Belarus non-mineral exports account for less than 15 percent. With Russia's WTO accession in 2012 competitive pressures on Belarus’ major market for non-mineral exports have further intensified. As Belarus is accelerating its own negotiations with the WTO, understanding the challenges and opportunities faced by the country's exporters is critical to putting in place an effective adaptation strategy that will enhance competitiveness and ensure Belarus can take full advantage of more open market access. The objective of this note is to analyze the economic impacts of Belarus' potential accession to the WTO. The note utilizes a modern computable general equilibrium model of the economy of Belarus to simulate impacts on the economy as a whole and on individual sectors.
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