The existing production lines in the Belarusian defence industry are unlikely to live up to the challenge set by the president – to double military exports.
After the summer lull, the State Military Industry Committee has resumed a pro-active foreign trade policy. In September and H1 October, several high-level events were organized, including the following.
- On October 7th-9th, the 10th meeting of the Joint Belarus-Emirate Committee on Military-Technical Cooperation was held in Abu Dhabi
- On October 7th-9th, the 2nd meeting of the Joint Belarus-Bangladesh Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation was held in Minsk
- On September 25th, the 2nd meeting of the Joint Belarus-Serbian Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation was held in Baranavichy at JSC 558 Aircraft Repair Plant
- On September 11th-13th, Minsk hosted the 16th meeting of the Sino-Belarusian Coordination Committee for Cooperation on Arms and Military Equipment
- On September 8th-11th, a Ugandan military delegation led by Colonel-General David Makhuzi, Commander-in-Chief of the People’s Defense Forces visited Minsk
Bilateral military-technical cooperation was also touched upon during the September visit to Azerbaijan by Belarusian State Secretary of the Security Council Stanislau Zas.
Despite the high international activity, the State Military Industry Committee does not expect a significant increase in exports in 2019 – some 1%-2% growth as compared with 2018. In many respects last year’s exports were ensured due to major contracts with the Azerbaijani Army. Meanwhile, the president has ordered to double military industry exports in the coming years up to USD 2 billion.
Belarus’ military industry potential has clearly almost reached its ceiling. To ensure further growth, Belarus needs to master the production of new and high-tech products, meeting the international market demand. Belarus is only embarking on such a production and to achieve a qualitative change, it requires time and investment. Meanwhile, the challenge is to retain Belarus’ military industry export at some USD 1 billion. One of the possible solutions is to find new partners in military-technical cooperation.