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The Economy of the Republic of Belarus

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Belarus is situated in the eastern part of Europe. It has a favourable economic, geographical and geopolitical location. The Republic is located at the junction of rail and road routes, oil, gas and commodity pipelines, and communications systems linking Western Europe with Russia and Asia.

Industry.The economic potential of Belarus is largely depen­dent on industry, which has been steadily increasing its output by 4—6% annually since 1995. There is a growing production and export of motor vehicles and tractors, chemical fibres, ferrous-metal products and chemical fertilizers, refrigerators and construction materials, foodstuffs and furniture. The production of Belarusian industrial

enterprises is steadily gaining the markets of the CIS and other foreign countries. It is testified by the stable growth of exports to the European Community countries, the USA, Canada and other world states.

For the first time since the post-Soviet period, in 2004 a con­solidated budget surplus was registered equal to 6% of the GNP, which increased the latter by upwards of 10%.

Production growth conduces to increasing people's well-being. This is accompanied by a rise in social provision.

Further progress of the Republic's industry will depend on how fast its technology is updated. Eventually, the priority definitely lies with resource-saving, hi-tech types of production involving development and manufacture of instruments and equipment intended for a large-scale introduction of information and fine chemical technologies, microelectronics and precision machinery manufacture, state-of-the-art multipurpose materials production, modern agricultural machinery production, exclusive defence machines and technology manufacture.

Agriculture.The positive changes in industry had their impact on the situation in the Republic's agriculture, which mainly specializes in animal husbandry production. The collective and state farms have retained the complexes built under the Soviet power, where thousands of head of cattle and pig are reared. A specialized network of agricultural companies, inter-farm associations and enterprises has been set up to produce and process beef, pork and poultry. Belarus' per capita meat output is 5-fold the CIS average.

More than 1000 state-run and cooperated associations as well as joint-stock companies are active in rural areas offering construction, transportation, logistics, supplies and other services. For scientific research in the countryside, a large network of institutions has been set up involving 10 pilot stations and research centers, 15 research and design institutes.

To support cattle-breeding, field husbandry has to be well developed. Around 70% of agricultural lands are used to grow fodder, which includes a major proportion of cereals, maize and root crop yields. Belarus is among the world's seven largest potato producers and is number 1 per capita potato producer in the world. One-third of flax-fibre brought in by the CIS members, which is 16% of Europe's total, is grown in Belarus. This indicator places the country fifth among the 26 flax-producing countries of the world.

A step-by-step systemic reform of the Republic's agricultural complex is under way. In addition to state-owned and cooperative structures, private, joint-stock, mixed type and joint-ownership enterprises have been coming into being.

The economic reform under way in the Republic is aimed at raising the economic efficiency as a whole and improving the work of separate enterprises. It is expected to create an atmosphere of competition, draw investments, strengthen anti-monopoly regulation, promote small and medium businesses.

Goods and services production, research and innovation activities, introduction of new technologies, construction, agricultural products processing, and providing services for rural population are business development priorities.

76. Pronunciation

A. How are the underlined letters in these pairs of words
pronounced? Practise saying the words.

1) support — rural; 2) improve — promote; 3) technology — machinery; 4) specialize — association; 5) thousand — further; 6) industry — husbandry.

B. Underline the main stress in each word. Practise saying the

Communication, cooperative, development, manufacture, specialize, proportion, efficiency, production, enterprise, transportation.

17. Word Study

A. Find international words in the text and write them out. Learn
their correct pronunciation.

B. Give Russian equivalents to the following word combinations:

to be largely dependent on industry; ferrous-metal products and chemical fertilizers; motor vehicles and chemical fibres; to gain the markets; European Community countries; to be equal to 6% of the GNP; to update technology; to have an impact on the Republic's agriculture; to specialize in animal husbandry production; per capita meat output; state-run and cooperated associations; field husbandry; animal husbandry; CIS members; to place the country fifth; to be under way; to draw investments; an atmosphere of competition.

C. Give English equivalents to the word combinations:

наращивать объемы выпуска продукции; продукты питания и строительные материалы; профицит консолидированного бюд­жета; рост производства; ресурсосберегающие, наукоемкого типа производства; широкое внедрение; новейшие материалы различно­го назначения; колхозы и совхозы; межхозяйственные объединения; в 5 раз больше, чем в среднем по СНГ; акционерные общества; научно-исследовательские и проектно-технические институты; опытные станции; сельхозугодия; поэтапное, системное реформи­рование; предприятия, основанные на смешанной и совместной собственности; развитие малого и среднего бизнеса; приоритет­ные направления развития предпринимательства.

D. Complete the chart with the missing forms where possible.


Nouns Verbs Adjectives

E. Match the words from A with their opposites from B.


rise, favourable, fast, stable, progress, strengthen, dependent unstable, slow, regress, independent, weaken, unfavourable, fall

F. Match the words from A with their synonyms from B.


growth, located, impact, link, steady, animal husbandry stable, cattle-breeding, increase, situated, connect, influence


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