Country Report Belarus December 1998 Main report

Foreign trade & payments: Trade figures provide an incomplete picture

As usual, Belarusian trade statistics will not have captured the full extent of the country's trade, as they omit "shuttle" trade and distortions arising through barter and export surrender requirements. Shuttle trade, especially with Russia, which has proved quite extensive in recent years, involves private individuals trading across borders on an informal basis unrecorded by official figures. The prevalence of barter in Belarus's trade, as well as the requirement that exporters sell a large portion of foreign-currency earnings to authorities at the official rate, probably leads to the underpricing of exports.

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