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Opinions & Interviews

8 Dec 2017

Lukashenko encourages competition due to open Belarusian economy

Lukashenko encourages competition due to open Belarusian economy

MINSK, 8 December (BelTA) – It is necessary to encourage competition in conditions of the open Belarusian economy. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement as he addressed employees of the worsted fabric factory Kamvol on 8 December, BelTA has learned.

Kamvol employees asked the president whether it was possible to enforce the choice of the company’s products on the home market via legislation. In response Alexander Lukashenko promised that the state would continue supporting the enterprise. “But bear in mind that we will be unable to close the market from Turkish, Russian, and Chinese fabrics. At least due to two reasons. First, competition. Competition encourages quality and growth. This is why you need competitors. Second, we are not some huge country that runs the world. There are virtually no countries like that at present. If we close the market from someone, they will close their market from us fast,” stressed the president.

The head of state said that the management of the Kamvol enterprise and the state light industry concern Bellegprom had been instructed to sell 1.5 million running meters of fabric on the home market in 2018. “For now we have some ways of fueling your company’s growth by encouraging fabric sales, particularly to school students and law enforcement agencies. Getting regular garment factories to buy your fabric is important. But you have to make quality products. If you do this, it will be easier for us to support you,” noted Alexander Lukashenko.

The president emphasized that the Belarusian economy is export-oriented. “We sell more than we consume. This is why we have to act carefully. Make quality fabric. We will sort things out later,” he added.

The possibility of giving preferences to Belarusian apparel manufacturers for buying Kamvol fabrics in order to make ready-made products out of them was mentioned. Alexander Lukashenko promised support but within limits. “It is profitable to sew things these days. Seamstresses are in short supply in Belarus. This shortage has seriously increased their salaries. Seamstresses are paid decent salaries now. This is why we support and will continue to support garment manufacturing. But I would like to emphasize once again: our support has a limit. We have already invested over $100 million in your enterprise. Don’t expect additional preferences,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

“The state will help out where it’s possible. I understand it is virtually a new manufacturing facility. We will support you until you’ve hit the relevant performance levels. But don’t expect we will close the market from competition and will force sales of Kamvol fabrics only. Don’t look forward to it. You can look forward to things being hard and to your having to beat your competition. You have everything for it. So forget about preferences. If preferences are available, well and good. But you should expect you will have to work on equal terms,” summed up Alexander Lukashenko.

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