Belarus loses good roads and profits
One of the main natural advantages of Belarus is its geographical position. Belarus used this advantage actively, providing transport services itself or giving the opportunity to transport goods through the territory of Belarus to companies from other countries.
Let’s see what benefits it brings to the country today and what the loss of a reliable source of currency it will result.
According to the Belarusian railway community, transport services have long been the main driver of Belarus’ total service exports, accounting for an impressive 43% in 2021, Railway Supply magazine informs.
The export of transport services has always brought very large and stable foreign exchange earnings due to the constant excess of exports over imports in this area.
Of course, it was clear how the crazy projects of the main economic partner of Belarus and global shocks affect the indicators: after the Crimea annexation, incomes dropped noticeably, losing about a billion dollars in exports a year, and recovered for several years.
Even during the covid lockdown, the industry continued to bring in big money. Moreover, in 2021, the export of transport services, having reached a record high of $4.4 billion, essentially “pulled” the country’s overall export performance.
Do not forget about another aspect. It is the geographical position of the republic that has become a condition for international companies to willingly allocate profitable loans for the construction of transport infrastructure.
These loans became the reason that the roads in Belarus began to be regularly modernized. It will be easy to verify this: the time for such loans is over, let’s see what will happen to the roads in the coming years.
What is happening now and what will happen soon?
Statistics indicate that the transport services sector is starting a rapid decline – the economy of this industry shrank by 7.8% in January-April, and, apparently, this is only the beginning. It is obvious that this will affect the profitability of exports of services in general, and hence the balance of exports / imports, which the Belarusian authorities have managed to keep in the “plus” until now.
It is quite possible that it is the export of transport services that will become the straw that will break the back of the camel, known as the “Belarusian economic miracle”.
But this is only part of the consequences.
In the coming years, the quality of roads will deteriorate rapidly and noticeably, and there is a very high probability that the “bridgefall” will continue, which is becoming a common occurrence in the republic. Judging by the sanctions, the country’s car fleet will get worse, and given the poor quality of roads, cars will become unusable much faster. Add to this that very soon the fleet of trucksallowed to transport goods across the European Union will begin to decline, while there will be nothing to replenish it. And even if a certain positive scenario is presented, and suppose that in a year or two the EU borders will be opened for Belarusian vehicles, it may turn out that there will be practically nothing to go there.
In conclusion, a few words about the nonsense that is now being carried from the screens of propaganda channels, they say, “we can replace!”. The reorientation of the economy is a long and complicated process, and in the Belarusian case, it is also unpromising. Belarus traded with Europe not because someone forced it, but only because it was profitable to supply services there.
It is enough to look at the statistics, and it will become clear that the vast majority of the proceeds in foreign currency from the export of transport services to the country comes from the European Union. In road transport, the EU accounts for 71% versus 12% for the Eurasian Economic Union. In rail transport, the European Union occupies 58%, while the EAEU – only 22%. There is no need to add anything here, the numbers speak for themselves.
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