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21 Apr 2017

Lukashenko sees 2017 as crucial year for achieving five-year targets

Lukashenko sees 2017 as crucial year for achieving five-year targets

MINSK, 21 April (BelTA) – The current year is of special importance for our progress towards the five-year performance targets, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said in the State of the Nation Address on 21 April, BelTA has learned.

The head of state noted that the decisions of the 5th Belarusian People’s Congress provided guidelines for tackling problems and advancing the country’s development. “We should catch up and achieve the objectives we set for the first two years of the current five-year period. This is why the current year is of special importance,” Alexander Lukashenko pointed out. “I have already said: we will not have another year like this. If we do not move at least half a step forward, it is hard for me to say what may happen,” he added.

“If we fail to find additional opportunities for increasing the export of Belarusian products, we will have difficulty boosting our economy. Therefore, we should use all tools and resources to make high-quality competitive products with a high value added,” Alexander Lukashenko emphasized.

It is also necessary to work to diversify exports however difficult it may be. “However, this should be done without damaging our positions in traditional markets, first of all, in the Russian Federation. The Russian head of state has recently invited us to participate in import substitution programs as we met in Saint Petersburg. That was the first time we had received such an invitation from him. With the sanctions in place, Russia has come to appreciate Belarus and realize that the Belarusian economy can be of use, including in terms of import substitution,” the Belarusian leader said.

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