Исследовательский Центр ИПМ
Kasrtyčnicki Ekanamičny Forum

PDP/13/08 Social Effects of Accession of Belarus to the WTO

Existence of the customs union between Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia implies that Russia’s accession to the WTO has inevitable implications for Belarus, including obligations of reduction of import duties. Associated changes in the structure of prices have impact on the population welfare through adjustments in consumption and income. This paper aimed at provision of quantitative assessment of consumption effect for separate groups of Belarus population, stemming from reduction of import duties. Analysis revealed that positive effect of reduction of import duties related to changes in prices and consumption of imported goods was marginal and evenly distributed among population. It was due to low scale of duties reduction especially at the moment of Russia’s entrance to the WTO, moderate share of import in consumption of goods subjected to significant reduction of import duties, and similar structure of consumption by different groups of population. One of the lowest positive consumption effects was observed for rural area inhabitants due to low share of consumption of imported food products by this group, especially compared to Minsk citizens.