By Roman Bukhvanov
Our domestic machine tool industry has long traditions, so it’s no surprise that our country is among the top 30 states in this sphere. Belarusian machine tool builders successfully sell to Russia, China and Western Europe. However, to maintain our position, we must attract investments to allow modernisation.
The new holding should encourage interest from foreign investors while using resources more efficiently. Moreover, it will enable domestic machine tool enterprises to conduct import substitution, while making collective purchases of resources, instruments and equipment and jointly promoting goods on foreign markets.
According to Prof. Boris Panshin, Doctor of Technical Sciences at the Belarusian State University, the machine tool industry plays an important role in developing all other areas of industrial manufacture. It was given great attention in Belarus back in Soviet times, with Belarusian machine tool builders known all over the Soviet Union. Today, foreign states have injected billions of Dollars into modernisation, leaving us lagging behind.
“Associations of enterprises, holdings and other such structures are common worldwide,” explains Mr. Panshin. “The holding will enable us to gather resources necessary for the modernisation of the machine tool industry and to launch innovative production. Less successful enterprises shall then catch up to the level of advanced companies. We’ll also be able to concentrate our scientific and industrial potential.”
Development of the machine tool industry should aid the competitiveness of other branches of industry, with equipment oriented towards not only the Belarusian market but those of Russia and Kazakhstan (Customs Union members).
Last year, the 22 enterprises chosen as members of the holding exported $45m of goods. Over the next 4-5 years, annual production output should rise several fold, while the volume of foreign sales could reach $120m.