Belarus is in Eastern Europe, east of Poland. The climate is cold in winter, with cool moist summers. The official languages are Belarusian and Russian. Polish, Ukrainian and Hebrew are also spoken by the local communities. Some younger, educated Belarusians are likely to speak some English. The main religion is Christianity. The Belarusian economy remains largely state-controlled. Thus approximately half of Belarusians are employed by state-controlled companies. The country relies on imports such as oil from Russia. Important agricultural products include potatoes and cattle by-products, including meat. As of 1994, the biggest exports from Belarus were heavy machinery (especially tractors), agricultural products, and energy products. Belarusians are generally serious, conservative, and intolerant of alternative lifestyles. Non-Caucasian visitors may encounter racist attitudes. Business meetings are usually formal and both men and women should wear conservative business suits when conducting business. It may be expected for expatriates to drink a toast to friendship or the success of a business venture. The security risk for expatriates in Belarus is low. Risks are mainly petty crime. The currency of Belarus is the Belarusian Ruble (BYR). US dollars and Euros are accepted. It is not possible to exchange BYR into other currencies outside Belarus. ATMs are available in major cities. Credit cards are not widely accepted. Medical facilities are generally below international standards. The population of Belarus is 9.5 Million (2017 est.), while the inflation rate is 4.9% (Nov 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Belarus, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Belarus as at 1 January 2018 is low in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Average 2) Clothing: Very High 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Very Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: Very High 6) Groceries: Very Low 7) Healthcare: Very Low 8) Household Accommodation: Very High 9) Miscellaneous: Low 10) Personal Care: Very Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Low 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very Low 13) Transport: Very Low Belarus is for example -34.5% cheaper than USA for groceries, 25% more expensive for household costs than UK, and 20.7% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for Belarus for an expat from Australia, is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Belarus) premium of 30% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. Belarus is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Belarus? Register subscribe to your home location and Belarus and run your personalised reports.