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President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, tours Mogilev Region on a working visit
During his visit to Tehnolit enterprise, in Mogilev, the President learnt about the development of innovative technologies and the production of high-quality parts for engines and hydro transmissions, as well as export promotion and import substitution. Mr. Lukashenko was especially keen to learn about the enterprise’s development prospects. “A good enterprise has been established, but it’s just a small seed, from which growth sprouts. We need to gather the harvest, and sow seeds once again, to gain more. There should be a multiplicative effect,” noted the President.
Tehnolit Director Alexander Bodyako told journalists that the enterprise operates well and is developing thanks to its unparalleled innovative casting technology. “We offer high-quality casting for small series parts for special equipment and hold a niche unoccupied by other enterprises specialising in mass production of such goods,” he said.
The Director explained that the establishment of casting facilities at enterprises in need of small batches of such parts, as a rule, leads to rising prime costs and deterioration of quality. “As a result, a number of Belarusian and Russian enterprises have closed their casting workshops and have begun buying our products,” comments Mr. Bodyako. “We now lack production facilities, so the enterprise is currently expanding and developing.” Tehnolit specialises in manufacturing parts for tractors, agricultural, road, construction, and special machinery. The plant also offers a wide range of products made of special abrasion-resistant cast iron, using a unique method — freezing-out. The company was awarded the State Prize in Science and Technology for design and industrial application for this method. This casting technology, protected by patents and authorship certificates, ensures absolutely new plastic and abrasion-resistant features for cast iron, enabling successful replacement of alloy steel and bronze in high-duty nodes.
Tehnolit products are delivered to hundreds of Belarusian enterprises: from plants in the military-industrial sector to railways and the production of agricultural machinery. Tehnolit goods sell well in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, the EU, and the USA, and the company exports almost 80 percent of its produce.
“Belarusian enterprises will be able to overcome the decline in industrial output,” noted Alexander Lukashenko, as he talked to employees at Mogilev Lift Manufacturing Plant JSC (Mogilevliftmash).
“We should overcome that which has happened, unfortunately, through no fault of ours,” said Mr. Lukashenko. “I wanted to see with my own eyes in what direction the city and its enterprises are developing. In the last few years, we’ve wanted to modernise the region several times. Many ideas were scrapped. Once again, at the end of last year, we decided our direction for developing our enterprises,” noted the Head of State. “Last year, we finished setting up industrial groups and holding companies, which allowed us to make more products of our own. I’ve been interested to learn what’s happened following those measures.”
While visiting Mogilevliftmash JSC, Mr. Lukashenko heard reports covering the development of the enterprise, the manufacturing of new products, and measures meant to bolster the company’s competitiveness. The President was also made familiar with progress in the retooling campaign and with how lifts are made using modern technologies. The Head of State added that Mogilevliftmash is an enterprise of national importance and should be vigorously developed.
Mogilevliftmash JSC is Belarus’ only manufacturer to offer a wide range of cargo and passenger lifts, in addition to lifts for people with disabilities. The company is growing successfully and has no problems with product sales. In H1 2016, Mogilevliftmash made 5,250 lifts: 600 more than in the same period of the previous year. Warehouse stocks are negligible. At present, Mogilevliftmash JSC is busy implementing two investment projects that will allow the company to start making a new family of economy-class lifts, business-class lifts, and lifts for high-rise buildings. They will also allow the company to build manufacturing facilities to make escalators. These projects should be implemented by 2020.
Chatting to employees at Mogilev Lift Manufacturing Plant JSC, the Head of State said that he visited the Tehnolit enterprise to see how small and medium-sized businesses are developing. “We’ve agreed with the People’s Republic of China that they will help up with inexpensive loans so that we can invest in such enterprises,” noted Mr. Lukashenko. China will allocate Belarus about half a billion dollars for these purposes. Mr. Lukashenko explained that small and medium-sized enterprises are more flexible; they are ready to produce goods for the Belarusian industrial giants, which cannot manufacture small runs of individual products. According to the President, visiting Tehnolit Plant, he saw the need to help those wishing to create their own businesses.
“The employment of people is my main concern. But there is a condition: they must want to work. I’m ready to do my best to provide jobs to those who want to work. Enough jobs and corresponding conditions have been created so far,” noted Mr. Lukashenko. At the same time, the Head of State emphasised that people must look for jobs themselves. “If there are no jobs in Mogilev, there will be jobs in Bobruisk, Minsk, Grodno, Svetlogorsk or Dobrush,” said the President. The Head of State noted that jobs will be created in the country for those who can and want to work.
A balanced city development plan is needed for Mogilev, as requested by the President of Belarus, on hearing a report on the development of the region. “I arrived in Mogilev from Minsk. I saw beautiful houses, but there is not enough gloss, beautification and amenities for people. There is no harmony,” said Mr. Lukashenko. The President noted that other regional centres have been put in order, becoming comfortable. However, Mogilev is lagging behind in this respect. “The Government should think about what can be done here. The main thing is to have a balanced city modernisation plan,” said the Head of State, urging city authorities to prepare this by the end of the year. Mr. Lukashenko added that Mogilev residents should be also involved in beautification of the city.
During his working trip to Mogilev, Mr. Lukashenko unexpectedly changed his plans and visited two troubled enterprises in the regional centre: Strommashina and Mogilevtransmash (a branch of Minsk Automobile Works). Representatives of labour teams and trade unions of the two companies were invited to take part in the meeting with the Head of State, to discuss prospects for the two enterprises.
Mr. Lukashenko was informed that lack of turnover is a problem for the enterprise. The President noted that many other companies face the same kind of hardships, yet money can be lent only if there are concrete plans to sell merchandise and repay loans.
Belarusian Industry Minister Vitaly Vovk and Minsk Automobile Plant JSC Director General Dmitry Katerinich informed the Head of State about concrete production plans in the presence of employees of the two enterprises.
You can challenge the authorities in Belarus only at elections, notes the Head of State, Alexander Lukashenko, on meeting Mogilevliftmash employees
“Don’t worry about security but, please, don’t over-criticise me for my tough policy; it’s not too tough,” noted the Head of State. “We won’t silence anyone. If you want to criticise anyone or reprove anyone, please do it in a proper way, at an enterprise. You hold meetings for these purposes where you can say anything you want. No one will try to keep you silent. You can openly express your opinion.” According to Mr. Lukashenko, it makes no sense to discuss certain social and political issues in a private manner. “Never be afraid of anything, tell me about anyone, but remember that a ‘war’ (against the president and the government, as in Turkey) can only occur during elections. At parliamentary elections, you can vote for any candidate you want. You can do the same at presidential elections.”
Economy and democracy are vital factors in Belarus
One of the workers of the enterprise asked about the pillars of security and order in Belarusian society and what needs to be done to protect them. “We need people. The population of Belarus should be at least double its current size, reaching 20 million people. This is a matter of security, defence capacity, and power. The population is too small here,” asserted the President, adding, “The second factor of security is the work of the economy and enterprises. We should have well-developed villages and cities, robust manufacturing, transport, communications and construction. State strength also relies on employment. Don’t worry, as Belarusians don’t have other problems today. The most important element is our cohesion. However, we shouldn’t relax, thinking that fighting will always be elsewhere, leaving us in comfort,” noted the President.
By Vladimir Khromov