Bonuses of attractiveness
[b]Gomel Region has, for the first time, been named as the best Belarusian region in which to run a business — in a contest organised in the country annually[/b]According to the business community, it boasts comfortable conditions for the development of private initiative. Although affected by the Chernobyl disaster, Gomel Region has shown that it has coped with the tragedy and chosen apromising path of development.
According to the business community, it boasts comfortable conditions for the development of private initiative. Although affected by the Chernobyl disaster, Gomel Region has shown that it has coped with the tragedy and chosen apromising path of development.
Several years ago, Gomel Region began positioning itself as a territory offering extensive support to business people — both in large cities and in rural areas. The local authorities have many times explained this approach. The Chairman of Gomel Regional Executive Committee, Vladimir Dvornik, explains, “Life moves on. Not only the social but the economic development of the affected areas is a priority — also with the participation of investors.New facilities are being set up, providing greater opportunities for districts to improve their standards of living.
This year alone, four pig breeding complexes are planned: for Yelsk, Narovlya, Chechersk and Lelchitsy districts. Meanwhile, the construction of such complexes will continue in Korma, Bragin and Khoiniki districts. We’ll also construct modern animal breeding farms.
The industrial sector is developing well, including the establishment of furniture fabric production in Korma and the expansion of manufacturing facilities at Narovlya and Khoiniki — making hydro-equipment. This brings jobs and raises incomes, while enhancing industrial potential.”
Various agencies have been working with businesses to create convenient conditions, with rapid results. Last year, the region’s economy received $1.3bn of investments, with the volume of direct foreign investments exceeding 2010 figures threefold.Most was injected into large industrial enterprises: Mozyr Refinery, the Belarusian Steel Works and Gomel Glass. This year, work on renewing and expanding facilities (with investors’ participation) will continue, with investments planned at the Belarusian Steel Works to produce seamless pipes for gas and oil industry. Meanwhile, Mozyr Refinery is to deepen its oil processing.
Serious investment projects are to be realised in the region’s wood processing branch, with modernisation enabling the region to export its ready-made manufactures. Meanwhile, Svetlogorsk Pulp and Cardboard Plant is to master production of bleached pulp, enabling it to fully satisfy domestic needs, while exporting around 30 percent of its produce. Business projects are also planned for Gomel Chemical Plant, Gomselmash, Gomel Glass and Dobrush Hero of Labour Paper Mill.
Connection to the territory
Joint Belarusian-French Komkont was among the first companies to beset up in Gomel-Raton free economic zone. According to its general director, it has been successfully developing, mastering production of industrial boiler equipment (using local fuels while applying French technologies). It is always ready to try new approaches and is among the many successful examples in Gomel Region. At present, Gomel-Raton numbers over 80 firms, with a third using foreign capital. Over the past year, the number of new facilities has doubled and, soon, these favourable conditions will spread to Turov (Zhitkovichi District) and the district centres of Lelchitsy, Korma and Khoiniki, giving businessmen more incentives to set up.
Green light of ‘Silicon Valley’
At the end of 2011, a sci-tech park opened in Gomel, aiming to establish favourable conditions for the development of small and medium-sized innovative enterprises. The technopark has been inspired by global trends which show that a mere third of innovative enterprises survive their first three years on the market, compared to 90 percent on a technopark. According to the technopark’s director, Dmitry Morozov, “Innovative development is a promising avenue. Our country lacks many mineral resources, so ‘brain work’ is vital. The technopark will be a real venue for developing and implementing new technologies.”
Organisations involved in innovative work, as well as scientists, engineers, developers and students, can become residents of the technopark: anyone using new ideas. In line with domestic legislation, privileges regarding taxes and rent are available.Evidently, such preferences are attractive: within just a few months, over 50 jobs have been created at the technopark.
Promising projects are being realised — including processing of phospho-gypsum (waste from Gomel Chemical Plant). At present, about 20mln. tonnes of this ecologically unfriendly substance are found in Gomel’s suburbs, withreserves growing annually. The absence of affordable technologies did not allow for earlier processing but the tech-nopark has made this possible, with new technology currently being applied.Gomel’s ‘Silicon Valley’ is convinced that more such progress will be evident in the future, inviting fresh ideas and purposeful people.
By Violeta Daniliuk