Aleksandr Lukashenko makes working trip to Mogilev Oblast

    President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko encourages private business to set up new enterprises. The head of state made such a statement during the working trip to Mogilev Oblast on 6 April.

    In Osipovichi Aleksandr Lukashenko got familiar with the development of innovative enterprises which are not only oriented on import substitution but also aim to export goods.

    The head of state was informed about the social and economic development of Mogilev Oblast and Osipovichi District, the fulfillment of instructions given during the working visit to Osipovichi in July 2011. Those instructions concerned gradual launch of Mogilev Carriage Works. Back then, Aleksandr Lukashenko ordered to build a production facility together with GrandExpress that will annually make 2,500 freight cars that are not produced by Mogilev Carriage Works and 2,000 tank containers. The new production facility at Osipovichi Carriage Works is supposed to reach its designed capacity by 31 December this year.

    The first stage of the project has almost been concluded. It envisaged the construction of the production facility. The necessary equipment should be brought and installed there within a year. The investment agreement between Belarus and GrandExpress is estimated at more than $130 million. About $117 million has already been utilized.

    Chairman of the State Control Committee Alexander Yakobson and Vice Premier Anatoly Kalinin expressed concern over the progress in implementing the second stage of the investment project, because the supply and installation of the equipment lag behind the schedule.

    At the same time, Alexander Yakobson expressed confidence that the project will be implemented as planned. “I am absolutely sure that the plant will be constructed. This is what matters most,” he said.

    The President demanded that the investment project at Osipovichi Carriage Works should be implemented in time. “The decisions that were made should be fulfilled faultlessly. You should hasten the investor and let him know what will happen if he fails to meet the deadline. In other things, you should support and help him. He is not a stranger here,” the head of state said.

    Top on the agenda was the development of innovative companies in small towns and the creation of jobs.

    Visiting Altimed Company in Osipovichi, Aleksandr Lukashenko gave an instruction to create favorable conditions to further develop prosthetic implant production.

    In particular, the President was informed that the company intends to expand the choice of products and increase the production capacity. The company is designing brand new models used in traumatology, orthopedics, and surgery such as knee joints, invertebral discs, dental implants, vascular implants, and coronal stents.

    Altimed’s current and future products are intended to substitute imports. They sell well in Belarus and abroad. At present Altimed products are used in 80% of the surgeries that require prosthetic implants in Belarus. Besides, Belarus-made implants are two or three times as cheap as foreign competitors. “With our level of prime cost we can compete with any manufacturer. If there is a will,” the President said.

    Deputy Head of the Belarus President Administration Andrei Tur said the company’s manufacturing process meets the highest technological standards.

    The head of state approved of the plans to further develop and expand the operation. “We should provide aid to avoid bureaucratic delays. If there is a market, you must get hold of it now,” he stressed.

    The President's schedule also included a visit to the foreign-owned private enterprise Perfumery and Cosmetics Factory Sontsa.

    The head of state got familiar with the company’s operation, the manufacturing cycle used to make synthetic detergents and household chemistry products.

    The enterprise was set up in January 2010 by the investment company Lebortovo Capital Partners Limited. The latter has been founded by a group of Belarusian and foreign investors. Sontsa's products are now available on the Belarusian market. Those are washing powders Mara, April, and Chaika.

    Over $30 million has been invested in production development. It is one of the largest investment projects implemented in Belarus in the last two years. The project is aimed at creating a modern import-substituting enterprise to manufacture up to 50,000 tonnes of dry detergents per annum and up to 24,000 tonnes of liquid detergents per annum. The amount will substitute about 75% of the relevant imports.

    For the project the investor has been granted an unfinished building that had not been used for over 15 years. The startup complex was launched in June 2011 with the production of the washing powder Mara. The company started manufacturing liquid detergents and household chemicals, including dishwashing liquids, in December 2011. Chairman of the Supervisory Board Sergei Levin said they had managed to complete the investment program ahead of schedule.

    Last year the company turned out over 6,000 tonnes of synthetic detergents, with the output in January-February 2012 at 1,500 tonnes. The larger output has helped increase the share of domestic manufacturers in the domestic sales. While in 2011 Belarusian manufacturers accounted for 48.6% of the sold synthetic detergents, the figure reached 52.4% in January-February 2012.

    The company plans to increase the output, in particular, by expanding the choice of products primarily liquid detergents. There are plans to start manufacturing liquid washing solutions in 2012 along with a wide choice of personal hygiene products.

    Sontsa Company has started exploring new markets. In October the company sold its products to Ukraine. As of January 2012, Sontsa's products are sold in Russia. The company's goods have been available in Kazakhstan and the Baltic states since February. Sontsa plans to occupy a large part of the domestic market while gradually increasing export.

    It is the third project accomplished by the investor. Earlier the investor had introduced the beer brand Bobrov and the juice Sochny on the Belarusian market. Total investments in Mogilev Oblast’s production sector have exceeded $100 million.

    Chairman of the company’s Supervisory Board Sergei Levin told Aleksandr Lukashenko they plan to start implementing other projects in Belarus. In particular, there are plans to build a dairy, selection, and veterinary complex in Minsk District, with investments earmarked to reach $65 million. The company is now choosing the technologies, studying Dutch and Israeli practices. Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed his interest and added the project should be beneficial for the country. “We do not want someone acting like Russians here, who just buy things cheap to resell them at a profit,” the head of state said.