State proposes beneficial partnership with business
Alexander Lukashenko offers to support private companies while visiting the Minotor-Service production private company
Alexander Lukashenko offers to support private companies while visiting the Minotor-Service production private company.
At Minotor-Service private enterprise
The name of Minotor-Service gives a hint of the evolution of its business. It hides an abbreviation of ‘technical servicing and repair’. The company began to focus on these in 1991 when it was starting its operation working with military tracked vehicles. Subsequently, Minotor-Service turned to modernisation, developing each year since. At present, company specialists independently develop, design and produce military vehicles. In addition, the company produces machinery for radio and electronic warfare, tactical reconnaissance, patrolling, guarding and anti-tank missile complexes. A ‘Stealth’ radar vehicle, invisible to radar, was created and a multi-purpose armour-plated floating off-roader is being developed at the moment. By late 2016, it is expected to be ready for testing. Many other similarly useful developments are planned.
Regarding co-operation with the state, the company has no claim on the State Military-Industrial Committee but, due to the specifics of its business, must liaise for standards and security purposes. The President is aware that there is occasionally misunderstanding between businessmen engaged in the defence sphere and the state agencies. The message is clear: ministries and agencies ‘should not view private companies as the enemy but must treat them equally as state-run enterprises’. Working together in the military-industrial sphere is a desirable thing. Businesses’ contribution to the strengthening of the country’s defence capacity is a good example of public private partnership.
Mr. Lukashenko pointed out that, every year, the share of the private sector in the budget is increasing. This tendency needs to grow, not excluding reasonable privatisation, following Minotor’s example. Many years ago, a weak state enterprise was sold to it and the company now has a strong team who receive decent salaries. This is not a case of selling state property at the expense of the population but a vivid example of its moving to a more efficient owner. As a result, business owners and ordinary workers benefit. The President warned that for the state to interact with private businesses should not be viewed as an order to gain management over those businesses. Control is allowed only to ensure that taxes are paid on time and the workers have no problems or complaints. An example of prompt business problem solution has been demonstrated. Minotor’s produce enjoys demand not only among our Armed Forces; its export geography is wide and consumer demand is growing. Accordingly, it’s important to expand production. However, the possibilities of constructing additional facilities are limited with conditions placed on using the available land. Mr. Lukashenko has asked that the issue be looked into and settled to the company’s benefit. It’s important to make a stake on companies of this kind in pursuing the goal of ensuring the country’ economic sustainability.
Minsk’s Minotor-Service and its history illustrate perfectly the optimal model of interaction between the state and a private business. On visiting the company’s production facilities, the President focused on two key themes. In the sphere of defence, business should not be treated like a ‘stepchild’: if it is involved in important affairs, it should enjoy the same support as its state colleagues. Moreover, development is essential and companies that work in partnership with the state should be helped to maximise their potential.
By Vasily Kharitonov