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In 1985, in the early days of perestroika, Belarus specialized mainly in machine building and instrument building (especially tractors, large trucks, machine tools, and automation equipment) and in agricultural production. Because of the vast devastation caused by World War II, the republic's industrial base was of postwar vintage, enabling it to maintain higher labor productivity than many other former republics of the Soviet Union, which were burdened with older, prewar equipment.
In 1992 industry in Belarus accounted for approximately 38 percent of GDP, down from 51 percent in 1991, a drop in investments, and decreased demand from Belarus's traditional export markets among the former Soviet republics. Belarus's economy has also been affected by decreased demand for military equipment, traditionally an important sector. Attempts to convert military production to civil production were 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 export to former Soviet republics.
In 1994 gross industrial output declined by 19 percent. At the beginning of 1995, every industrial sector had decreased output, including fuel and energy extracting (down by 27 percent); chemical and oil refining (18 percent); ferrous metallurgy (13 percent); machine building and metal working (17 percent); truck production (31 percent); tractor production (48 percent); light industry (33 percent); wood, paper, and pulp production (14 percent); construction materials (32 percent); and consumer goods (16 percent).
Data as of June 1995
Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.
Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Belarus was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.
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Section 38 of 81
(p.) Belarus Ruble (BYR)
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