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2 Mar 2018

Lukashenko concerned about uneven regional development in Belarus

MINSK, 2 March (BelTA) – Interregional inequality inside the country is a process that is becoming persistent, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting held on 2 March to hear out the reports of the government, the National Bank, the oblast executive committees and Minsk City Hall on the economic performance in 2017 and goals to secure the country’s sustainable economic growth, BelTA informs.

According to the head of state, over the past seven years the world’s GDP has increased by 25%, while Belarus’ GDP growth has not even reached 6%. The president is convinced that the financial crisis and market environment, viewed by the government as the major causes, are not the core of the problem.

“If we grow slower than others, it means we are lagging behind. We are lagging behind in development, technologies, and, of course, living standards. These are not the only things I am, as President, concerned about. We cannot ignore the processes which have already become stable inside the country. I am talking about interregional inequality,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

The local social and economic situation was thoroughly examined following the head of state’s instructions. The results reported to the president were the major reason for convening today’s meeting.

“The country, its regions are developing unevenly. In fact, only Minsk Oblast and Grodno Oblast are making headway. Over the past seven years the gross regional product of Minsk Oblast has exapnded by 28% and that of Grodno Oblast by 13%. The other oblasts are in stagnation. For the last seven years, Brest Oblast increased its GRP by only some 5%, Gomel Oblast – by 3%, Vitebsk Oblast – by 2%, and the gross regional product of Mogilev Oblast has shrunk,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

In his words, any serious differentiation always leads to the divisions in the society and large-scale problems in the country. “The government and the oblast executive committees have been tasked to secure equally comfortable life in any city and oblast across the country,” the head of state stressed.

Setting up new enterprises is the best way out, the president said. “For this purpose, our state accumulates funds for investment projects. The prime minister is expected to report on the implementation of the current investment projects, the prospects for the development of regions in the country,” the head of state said.

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