Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with participants of TV project "Welcome to Belarus"

    Belarus is an open and peaceful country, which is ready to develop cooperation with all countries in the world, President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko has said as he met with participants of the TV project "Welcome to Belarus" on 24 August.

    As part of the TV project, Belarus welcomed six families from China, Germany, South Korea, Spain, France and the United States. All of them have come to Belarus for the first time.

    For five days they traveled about the country, met with its residents, got familiar with places of interest in an oblast of Belarus, with leading enterprises, tasted the national cuisine, learned the Belarusian history and culture. The key goal of the project is to look at Belarus from a foreigner’s point of view, to make sure that there are many things in the country that one can be proud of and treasure.

    According to the President, the words Welcome to Belarus are addressed to all visitors coming here. Belarusians are happy to welcome guests and know how to treat them. “Belarus is an open country. We are very peaceful and sincere people; we want to be friends with everyone, we want to trade freely, visit other people, communicate with them. We are not hostile to anyone. We always wish happiness and prosperity to everyone,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    Addressing the foreign guests, the President emphasized that the impressions they got during a week of staying in Belarus are particularly important: “We live in Belarus, we love the country. However, as time goes by, we get used to all the beauty around us and take it for granted. There are a lot of amazing places in Belarus where your soul can have a rest”.

    The foreign guests had an opportunity to visit the most picturesque places of Belarus, see the best enterprises. “Belarusians have always been industrious people. BelAZ, Spartak confectionary, Belshina – all of them are the pride of Belarus. God did not bless us with a lot of natural resources; therefore, Belarusians have learnt to make their living using their hands and brains,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    According to the head of state, this meeting is an opportunity to hear the opinion of other nations about Belarus. “If you have noticed any flaws, please, go ahead and tell us. Believe me, your opinion means a lot to all of us and me. You have a fresh view of the things; your impressions are clear and fresh. Most importantly, you are sincere and open people who I hope have best wishes for our land and our people. Your opinion will help us make Belarus even a better place,” the Belarusian leader said. Aleksandr Lukashenko invited all the participants of the meeting to have an open discussion about Belarus.

    Belarus welcomed successful people from the countries with developed economy and high living standards.

    Mogilev Oblast was visited by the family from Germany. Gerd Sommer, head of the family, is a major businessman specializing in civil engineering. The visit to Belarus has been interesting for him from the point of view of establishing business ties.

    He suggested sharing the civil engineering technologies his company has as well as technologies in the area of renewable energy resources, waste processing. He said he was eager to establish productive and mutually beneficial cooperation with the Belarusian side.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarus did its best to preserve and modernize technologies and enterprises developed in the Soviet Union. At the same time, Belarus makes ample use of foreign practices, especially in construction. Aleksandr Lukashenko said the proposal looked interesting and said he hoped that such cooperation would begin.

    The family from Germany was pleased with Belarusian hospitality. “We have been to many countries but we have never seen such hospitality anywhere. Unfortunately, there is very little information about Belarus in Germany. This trip has opened your country for us. We have seen only part of Belarus but it was enough to get convinced of its uniqueness, heart warmth of the people and their hospitality,” Gerd Sommer said.

    “We know that Belarus has been an independent country for only 20 years but what has been done in this short time is truly impressive. You have a magnificent country, excellent people and nature,” he added.

    “It is not our fault that Germany has, unfortunately, little information about Belarus. We live and grow in a harsh world. We have many good things as well as drawbacks. Unfortunately, once something extreme and negative happens in our country, Europe, Germany in particular, is ready to trumpet the news day and night. To my regret, they speak little of good things,” the President remarked. “But the Germans are smart people. Thousands of Germans cross our country, businessmen and tourists alike. They see the country. Those, who have been to Belarus at least once, even in transit, preserve good memories of it,” the head of state added.

    "I am convinced that you, the families who came to Belarus from different countries, will become our friends," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    The family from China visited Vitebsk Oblast. They also regretted that China has little information about Belarus. The head of the Chinese family decided to publish a book about Belarus in China.

    According to Aleksandr Lukashenko the experience of China has always been important for Belarus and Belarus will continue using it in the future. “We established cooperation a long time ago. We have learned a lot from China, in particular, ways to reform the economy and the way to follow. Certainly, we have our own peculiarities. While it was important for the People’s Republic of China to create as many jobs as possible once, it is important for us to create modern enterprises that can compete with those of Germany. Fortunately, at present China has such enterprises and we borrow your experience and technologies to plant them in the Belarusian soil,” the head of state said.

    “To our great regret, we do not enjoy such relations with European states, with Germany, for instance. We have copied the way to develop our country from Germany when we acquired independence. Nevertheless, in Germany political leaders build their policy in a different manner. Such people like, for instance, Gerd Sommer, are abundant in Germany and we will certainly rely on them,” the President added. “In Europe China has decided to rely on capabilities of Belarus primarily for the sake of expansionism, in a good sense, into this well-developed continent. Europeans do not always like it but it is profitable for us and the Chinese. Therefore, we will act in this direction,” the head of state noted.

    As for the book, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus is ready to partake in the project.

    The family from France is convinced that the two countries need to step up relations in tourism.

    The South Korean couple pointed out the well-developed production sector in Belarus. “In South Korea we have world-recognized companies. The main power of theirs is the ability to pick up trends. They are fast to adapt and put into practice. Therefore, our country has been able to secure a breakthrough. We would like to share this experience with your country. It seems to us that your food industry, mechanical engineering industry could only benefit from cooperation with our enterprises, from sharing experience,” Kim Don Von said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko said that South Korean companies are invited to establish tighter cooperation with Belarus. “We are ready to provide preferences so that you could build your enterprises here, in the center of Europe, together with Belarusians if you want, for the sake of manufacturing your products. Moreover, markets are available here,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    The couples from the United States and Spain enjoyed the Belarusian nature and cuisine, the hospitality of Belarusians and well-developed infrastructure in towns and villages.

    "All people we met in Belarus have a clear picture of what true hospitality is. They seemed very happy citizens of their country," Robert James Brennan, the guest from the United States, said.

    According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the major goal of the project is to confirm that there are a lot of things in Belarus we should appreciate and be proud of.