Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Swiss businessmen

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko invites European businessmen to implement investment projects in Belarus. The head of state made this statement as he met with representatives of the Swiss business community on 23 May.

Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that raising foreign investments into modern technologies is one of the objectives of Belarus’ economic policy. “There are many promising investment projects we would like to implement with foreign partners. First of all, these are projects in the pharmaceutical industry, chemical industry and the industries you represent,” the head of state said.

The President expressed hope that the meeting will result in new cooperation projects with partners from Switzerland, Germany, Poland or any other country.

Addressing President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer of Stadler Rail Group Peter Spuhler, the owner and the president of the Swiss company Stadler Rail Group, who leads the Swiss delegation to Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed hope that the successful work of Stadler Rail Group in Belarus will encourage other big companies to start a business in Belarus.

The President reminded that the project to construct a plant to produce railway and municipal electric transport in Fanipol is a testimony to the fruitful cooperation with the Swiss company. According to the President, it took only two years to build from scratch one of the CIS most advanced plants producing railway passenger transport. “I have recently signed a decree to grant Fanipol the status of a satellite town of Minsk. I am convinced that it will have a positive impact on our joint project,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said addressing Peter Spuhler.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that he is ready to listen to all kinds of cooperation proposals.

The Swiss business delegation is on a visit to Belarus on 22-26 May. The delegation includes heads of the world’s leading companies. The businessmen came to Belarus to learn about business and investment opportunities and terms, to find new partners and to promote their products.

Stadler Rail Group is a leading European manufacturer of rolling stock for railway operators. Stadler Rail Group products are used all over the world, including in Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Norway, the United States and Finland.

Stadler Rail Group started cooperating with the Belarusian side in 2012. The cooperation resulted in the enterprise OAO Stadler Minsk. The enterprise is now busy implementing the investment project to start manufacturing electric transport for passenger transportation by rail. The project is being implemented step by step through the construction and commissioning of the factory and engineering and transport infrastructure facilities in the town of Fanipol in 2012-2016.

Peter Spuhler said that the company has plans for exporting some of the products the Belarusian enterprise makes to Russia, in particular, to Moscow as well as to the European Union and to Switzerland.

Apart from that, Peter Spuhler suggested making a train for Minsk metro. Later on the train could be used as a prototype for future projects, including access to foreign markets. In the near future the Minsk metro enterprise will have to buy about ten new trains. Peter Spuhler expressed willingness to take part in the deliveries.

The head of state said that once Peter Spuhler came to Belarus, sold a passenger train for the railroad and invited the Belarusian head of state to go for a ride on the new train. “I should tell you that it was as comfortable as riding a Mercedes. I invited him to build a factory in Belarus if he was willing to work here. He took several seconds to think about and said it will be done. We treasure Peter Spuhler a lot for this maybe slightly emotional decision that has resulted in material production. At the latest meeting when the first operations began at the factory I promised to him that as of that day it was our company that we will support and protect at all levels and will help promote products on all the foreign markets”.

“My job is to prevent Peter Spuhler from ever regretting his decision to start manufacturing in Belarus. It is the main thing that, I believe, should be part of the policy of any head of state. The businessmen will trust such a state,” noted Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Peter Spuhler thanked Aleksandr Lukashenko for support and future assistance regarding access to foreign markets. “We have started manufacturing products and will think about taking part in tenders in order to get contracts for the factory for a long term,” said the businessman.

Stadler Rail Group is a leading European manufacturer of a wide choice of rolling stock: rail buses, diesel and electric trains, double-deck trains, cars, trams, free gauge trains, and other kinds of products. Stadler Rail Group products are used all over the world, including in Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Norway, the USA, and Finland.