Aleksandr Lukashenko visits Dzerzhinsk-based sewing factory Eliz

    Belarus will develop textile and garment production. The matter was discussed during the working visit of President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko to Minsk Oblast and to the Dzerzhinsk-based sewing factory Eliz on 5 March.

    Founded in 1928, the company specializes in making shirts for men and children, knitwear products, women’s blouses, neckties, scarfs, and sauna sets. The merchandise is available under the trademarks Tino Aretty, Leonardo, Eliz, and Eliz for You.

    There is no state-owned share in the authorized fund of the company.

    The President was informed about the financial and manufacturing state of the factory, measures taken to retool it and make new products. The company had put together a plan to modernize the existing manufacturing facilities and create new high-performance jobs by 2015. At present the deterioration of the active part of the basic assets stands at 40.1%.

    Last year the company installed an automatic cloth-cutting complex Lectra, with Br1.8 billion spent on buying machines, equipment, and vehicles. Premises are rented in the town of Uzda, with 20 jobs created and over 35,000 articles made. In 2013 as much as Br1.3 billion will be spent on buying 43 items of technological equipment for garment manufacturing. There are plans to introduce a system for computerized apparel design in 2014 and launch an automated cloth-spreading complex and basic equipment for garment manufacturing in 2015.

    In the last few years the company has set up nine manufacturing branches outside the home town of Dzerzhinsk, in particular, in Uzda, Stolbtsy, Nesvizh and other small towns. There are plans to open about 40 specialized retail shops.

    Eliz Director General Yuri Lukashevich said that the company is working hard to raise the export of services and merchandise. In 2012 export went up by 20% in comparison with 2011. There are plans to raise export by 150% within the next three years.

    Eliz merchandise is sold on the Russian and European markets. For the sake of increasing the client base and the sales volume the company has opened a representative office in Saint Petersburg.

    The Director General also raised the issue of customs duties. In his words, in the Customs Union the company’s main competition is represented not by apparel manufacturers but trade companies that import ready-made clothes from China. The Customs Union’s duties on importing ready-made merchandise are 10% while those on raw materials are 15%.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko was interested in salaries of Eliz workers, which averaged only Br2,632,800 in 2012, considerably below the average salary in the country and the average salary in sewing enterprises of the Belarusian light industry concern Bellegprom. Bellegprom Chairman Mikhail Suchkov assured that salaries of Eliz workers will be raised gradually. In particular, in February the average salary should be about Br3.5 million. The President reminded about his instruction to raise salaries while raising the output and sales.

    The head of state was informed about the general state and prospects of development of sewing industry enterprises of the Bellegprom concern.

    Bellegprom has 23 sewing industry enterprises, which share in the national output of sewing products is about 70%. The average number of people employed by these companies is 14,000. The main avenue of development of the apparel industry is the modernization of production facilities, in particular, the installation of automated equipment, creation of jobs as part of computerized apparel design systems. The retooling of Bellegprom enterprises will allow reducing the deterioration of the active part of their equipment to 40%. In 2012 the apparel enterprises turned out Br27.8 million worth of merchandise. The net profit amounted to nearly Br300 billion, 20% up from 2011. The profitability of sales in 2012 totaled 18.3%. The number of loss-making enterprises dropped from 18 to 10.

    The apparel industry enterprises ship their merchandise to 38 countries, with the Russian Federation as the main importer (82.7%). The proprietary distribution chain abroad includes 22 entities, with 125 proprietary shops deployed in Belarus. In 2012 export was close to $240 million, with import nearly $150 million.

    The matter of developing the production of worsted fabric was raised. First Vice Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko suggested that a project to develop the production of worsted fabric at premises of OAO Sukno and OAO Slonim Worsted and Spinning Factory should be accomplished. In particular, there are plans to relocate some of the equipment from the Minsk-based company OAO Kamvol to OAO Sukno and the Slonim-based factory while the spare premises of OAO Kamvol will be handed over to the Minsk city administration for the sake of arranging an expo complex or other purposes. According to the First Vice Premier, doing it will be cheaper than a full-scale modernization of OAO Kamvol and can be done within a shorter time. As a result, the capacity to make 4 million meters of worsted fabric and 2.7 million meters of woolen fabric will be created in Belarus. “By doing this, we will build up the capacity of OAO Sukno and will also upgrade the Slonim-based factory that will make yarn for worsted, costume, and knitwear products,” said Vladimir Semashko. Apart from that, it is possible that foreign investors may be involved in the project.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko said he believes the project should be discussed in detail. “It is an interesting matter but it has to be decided in no hurry. If by doing it we reach the goals once set for OAO Kamvol, then why shouldn’t we do so?” said the head of state.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko made it clear that if the project goes ahead, all the OAO Kamvol employees should stay employed.

    The President added that in the near future he intends to visit both OAO Sukno and OAO Slonim Worsted and Spinning Factory.

    Chairman of the Minsk Oblast Executive Committee Boris Batura informed the head of state about the social and economic development of Minsk Oblast and Dzerzhinsk District in 2012. The oblast’s gross regional product rose by 6.5% from 2011 (the annual forecast was 105.3-105.8%) to exceed Br78 trillion. According to Boris Batura, the capacity to hit targeted goals in 2013 has been created.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko visited the sewing shop and the cloth-cutting shop of the factory, sections making men’s shirts and neckties, was made familiar with the operation of the transportation and technological line Eton, the automated cloth-cutting complex Lectra, and examined an exhibition of Eliz-made products.

    The President also visited the shop set up near the factory and was made familiar with the range of products available. He was generally satisfied with the performance of the company.