The Economic Activity of Belarus
Although there has been little structural improvement since 1995, Belarus's economy posted more than 8% growth in 2006 and the country has succeeded in lowering inflation.
President Lukashenko’s policy of "market socialism" imposes administrative controls over prices and currency exchange rates and gives the state the right to intervene in the management of private enterprises. Re-nationalization of private companies, pressure by central and local governments, and arbitrary laws and arrests have contributed to low foreign investment. However, those at the bottom of the ladder have benefited.
A growing worry is the fact that Belarus is heavily dependent on Russia for for oil and natural gas, which it then re-exports at market prices. In the near future, Russia may hike the market prices that it currently offers Belarus.
Peat is the country's most valuable mineral resource. It is used for fuel and fertilizer and in the chemical industry. Potatoes, flax, hemp, sugarbeets, rye, oats, and wheat are the chief agricultural products and lumbering is an important occupation as forests cover a large part of the land.
The currency of Belarus is the Belarusian Ruble.