By Vladimir Khromov
On meeting Mr. Myasnikovich, the President spoke of his recent official visit to the People’s Republic of China, noting that the Belarusian Government now needs to review all the agreements signed in China — particularly in view of the forthcoming meeting between the prime ministers of Belarus and China. The Belarusian Head of State believes the meeting will resolve all existing issues regarding trade, investment and finance.
The President explained, “Many issues will be addressed during preparations for this event but the key thing is a proposal by the Chinese President: asking that we attain a strategic level of partnership. These are more than words. China is paying close attention to this, attaching a lot of importance to our agreement. It’s a plan of action for high level co-operation: a roadmap. Your meeting will be the most important step in preparing this road map.”
Mr. Lukashenko remarked that the document encompasses all avenues of co-operation: trade, military technical, political and humanitarian. Some have already been discussed, as he notes, “It’s a true plan of action and a very important proposal from the Chinese side. It’s a serious new step on the part of the People’s Republic of China in support of Belarus.”
The President supports the Government’s approach towards forecasting socio-economic development and the budget for 2014. In accepting the report by his Prime Minister, Mr. Lukashenko again drew attention to the necessity of ensuring that enterprises work profitably, to enhance citizens’ standard of living.
The PM reported on national economic figures, stating that, from January-June 2013, GDP grew by 101.4 percent. From January-May, a positive foreign trade balance of $303m was registered. Innovative goods are forming a growing proportion of exports, showing that modernisation continues efficiently. By June, warehouse stocks had fallen by 3 percent: a trend the President is keen to see extended.
The President received draft decrees tackling work at a range of enterprises, including those facing difficulties. The Government is convinced that the future lies with larger companies, which can position themselves on foreign markets and work efficiently on the domestic market.
The Head of State also approved the Belarusian Cement Company’s three new sites and a proposal to establish the Belarusian Knitwear Company: uniting KIM JSC, Svitanak JSC, Kupalinka JSC and Brest Hosiery JSC (Svitanak JSC will act as the major company). This will raise efficiency of production while considerably reducing costs.
The meeting also tackled the development of footwear enterprises, such as Belwest JLLC and Marko LLC. The Head of State has given a range of instructions relating to production volumes and state support, demanding that market principles be followed, so that only goods with guaranteed sales are produced. He views it as vital that import substitution continues, with state support only given in cases where it can be repaid. The Government now plans to polish its draft decrees for later submission to the President.