An outdoor flower market at the train station, Minsk
Courtesy Jim Doran
Outdoor market for automobile parts, Minsk
Courtesy Anatol Klashchuk
In 1985, in the early days of perestroika,
specialized mainly in machine building and instrument
(especially tractors, large trucks, machine tools, and
equipment) and in agricultural production. Because of the
devastation caused by World War II, the republic's
base was of postwar vintage, enabling it to maintain
productivity than many other former republics of the
Union, which were burdened with older, prewar equipment.
In 1992 industry in Belarus accounted for approximately
percent of GDP, down from 51 percent in 1991 (see
Appendix A). This figure reflects a decline in the
of imported inputs (especially crude oil and deliveries
Russia), a drop in investments, and decreased demand from
Belarus's traditional export markets among the former
republics. Belarus's economy has also been affected by
demand for military equipment, traditionally an important
Attempts to convert military production to civil
largely unsuccessful as of 1995.
By 1993 Belarus also produced petrochemicals, plastics,
synthetic fibers, fertilizer, processed food, glass, and
textiles. Even though Belarus continued its production of
electronic instruments and computers, a specialty from the
communist era, their quality mainly restricted them for
former Soviet republics.
In 1994 gross industrial output declined by 19 percent.
the beginning of 1995, every industrial sector had
output, including fuel and energy extracting (down by 27
percent); chemical and oil refining (18 percent); ferrous
metallurgy (13 percent); machine building and metal
percent); truck production (31 percent); tractor
percent); light industry (33 percent); wood, paper, and
production (14 percent); construction materials (32
consumer goods (16 percent).
Data as of June 1995