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11 Jul 2017

Export efforts of every branch of Belarusian economy in for revision

MINSK, 11 July (BelTA) – The government will have to revise export efforts of every branch of the Belarusian economy. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko gave the instruction during the government conference held on 11 July to discuss Belarus’ foreign policy priorities in modern times, BelTA has learned.

Alexander Lukashenko remarked: “The government should revise export efforts of every industry. It is necessary to find out, who makes products that sell well and who can only add to the stock in storage. It is the key to renewing our manufacturing enterprises. It is necessary to upgrade enterprises and bring foreign investors here taking into account tomorrow’s priorities instead of going for modernization that will become outdated before it is done. Then investors will pour money only in promising enterprises.”

The president stressed it is necessary to work out a new export strategy based on improving the quality of Belarusian exports. “Raw materials and semi-finished products still represent over 80% of our export to Europe. That won’t do. It is necessary to put efforts into setting up joint enterprises with a share of Western capital. It is necessary to assimilate cutting-edge technologies and practices. It is necessary for our exporters to become part of international manufacturing chains of well-known European and global corporations,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

According to the head of state, reducing the materials and energy intensity of the manufacturing sector, raising labor productivity should become part and parcel of the Belarusian export policy. And, certainly, innovations and high technologies are getting more and more important.

“Instead of ‘What can we make today?’ it is necessary to think along the lines ‘What can we make that will sell well tomorrow?’ It is a pressing problem for the manufacturing sector, which represents the core of our economy. It is a problem not only for the manufacturing sector but for our scientists, too. We are going to talk about it during a large congress of scientists this autumn,” said Alexander Lukashenko. “We cannot allow Belarus to lag behind our trade partners and developed economies as a whole as far as technology is concerned. Instead of creating one IT park we should create an IT country. We’ve talked about it many times.”

The head of state instructed the ambassadors together with the Economy Ministry, the Industry Ministry, and other organizations to put more efforts into finding investors with cutting-edge technologies. “Do you need new laws for that? Make your proposals,” added Alexander Lukashenko.

“Once all the tiers of the government and the private sector understand the need for a vigorous export policy, we will be able to create new mechanisms for interagency cooperation,” said the president. “We have successfully tested a scheme based on assigning officials to oversee specific areas. We created this form of interaction two years ago. Results of overseeing efforts are different at times. Nevertheless, the desired effect has been achieved.”

So far 35 officials have been assigned responsibility for 79 countries. “It is important to hit export targets in the areas you are responsible for. It is your direct responsibility,” added Alexander Lukashenko. “I would like to also urge heads of Belarusian diplomatic missions abroad to tightly cooperate with the assigned officials. Moreover, many of them are heads of intergovernmental economic commissions. I would like to remind once again that foreign trade activities, particularly export, is an absolute priority in the work of embassies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

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