We are not opposed to privatization. We are against mass or ‘shock’ privatization, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with EBRD Vice President Alain Pilloux on 7 June.
“You are aware of our approaches to the privatization of public property. I do not think that my views of privatization differ much from the approaches of the European Bank. We are absolutely not opposed to privatization. It is quite a natural process. But we believe, as, probably, all sensible people do, that if the state cannot manage some asset, then this asset should be given to an effective owner. We proceed from this, and this is the main thing. We are against mass and ‘shock’ privatization. This is the essence of our approach,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.
According to the head of state, the public property was created by the whole nation. “Selling it for a penny would mean giving rise to injustice and stirring discontent among people. We saw it happen in the neighboring countries of the former Soviet Union. We would not want privatization to become a zone of tension in the society,” the President said.
Alexander Lukashenko believes that the transfer of public property to private investors must bring benefits to the country. It should envisage good salaries for workers of the privatized companies, new jobs and regular revenues to the state budget.
The President spoke highly of the cooperation between Belarus and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. “The prospects are great. We have learned a lot from you, your recommendations. I thank you for the projects, especially infrastructure projects, that we are implementing together with you,” he said.
The EBRD has invested in the Belarusian economy a total of about €2 billion. In 2017 the investments totaled €163 million. “These are good figures. I think that Belarus is a good partner of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. I am particularly pleased that the Bank has made some adjustments to our relations, shows an interest in our public sector and, most importantly, wants to work with our public sector,” the President added.