Aleksandr Lukashenko visits transport and logistics center Minsk-Beltamozhservice-2 

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko demanded that Belarus’ logistics development program should be implemented in full by 2015. Aleksandr Lukashenko made this statement as he visited the transport and logistics center Minsk-Beltamozhservice-2 in Minsk District on 15 November.

“We have adopted the program and set forth the number of facilities that should be built. However, this program has not been implemented yet, it is behind schedule. I should say that the punishment will be the same as in the wood processing industry. I will not condone it. This is big money. If you miss this opportunity to make good money, you will not be able to get away with it,” the head of state said.

“When we adopted this program, we lacked expertise and knowledge. However, now that we are in, we understood what we should do. We should immediately start adjusting the program and adding new projects to it, if necessary. If not, decide who will take charge of it, set the deadline and start looking for investors. If not, we will do it on our own. It does not require big money, but pays off handsomely. We need to take the money that is now flowing to other countries,” the Belarusian leader said.

Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Piotr Prokopovich updated the President on the status of implementation of the program and other measures to promote the logistics system in Belarus. The logistics development program defines 36 sites where logistics centers will be set up. Some plans have already been materialized, some are in the pipeline. However, there are projects that are left without investors. The Vice Premier assured that the program will be implemented in full.

Director General of Beltamozhservice Yuri Korol noted that investors are expected to contribute to trade and bring specialists, as human resources play a crucial role in logistics.

Participation of private business in the construction of logistics centers was also discussed. Some private companies are already involved in the process. However, none of these facilities meets the required high standards. State-owned companies should not withdraw from the market. “Private business is not a viable alternative, we should stay on the market,” the President said.

The transport and logistics center visited by the head of state is an A-class facility. Yuri Korol noted that Belarus is lagging behind other countries in terms of the number of such centers. More A-class facilities should be constructed in Belarus, he believes. “We have to deal with a fierce competition. We should consider dumping, raise the quality of services, introduce IT technologies, adopt a more aggressive policy while advancing to foreign markets, open offices abroad, establish direct contacts with consumers and re-channel not only commodities, but also financial flows,” he said.

According to the Beltamozhservice Director General, the laws regulating the logistics sector should be brought in compliance with European standards. This involves taxes, accounting, banking and legalistic procedures. Aleksandr Lukashenko rebuked the State Control Committee and the Government for failing to do it.

Chairman of the State Control Committee of Belarus Alexander Yakobson noted that the work to promote the logistics sector should be coordinated and reconciled, because there are several programs and projects that overlap with each other. “It gets so ridiculous sometimes that a vegetable warehouse is called a logistics center,” he noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko demanded that the necessary amendments and additions should be passed by the end of the year in order to make sure all the plans are materialized.

During his visit to the transport and logistics center the President said that i is possible to expand the network of duty-free shops. “Don’t restrain these shops but prioritize Belarusian products,” said the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko demands that Minsk and Minsk Oblast authorities pursue a well-thought-out policy aimed at the improvement of the appearance of the Belarusian capital and its outskirts. “A reasonable approach should be developed when shaping the appearance of the city and its outskirts,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the number of those who would like to receive land plots for construction purposes has been recently on the rise. “We should use the land which is still free, especially in the city. It does not mean that we should build a nine-storied house in someone’s backyard because it will infuriate people. We have many empty land plots inside the ring road,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.

The head of state suggested using parcels of land located under power lines. “If there are investors and if they are satisfied with the lands under power lines let them buy it. Let them move these power lines closer to the road where nothing more will be built and let them put this land into operation,” the President said.

The same goes for other parcels of land which, after a clean-up, may be used for construction, too. “There are enough people who are eager to take these pieces of land and clean them up,” the Belarusian head of state is convinced.

Aleksandr Lukashenko reiterated his invariable demand that agricultural lands may not be used for construction: “Agricultural lands cannot be used for these purposes. It is better to free a bit of land from forest than to take up agricultural land.”

The head of state gave an instruction to put in order lands in the city and its outskirts. He stressed the importance of building multi-storey car parks near the ring road and creating a uniform appearance of markets and other sales areas. Aleksandr Lukashenko also asked to take into account aesthetic aspects when it comes to placing advertisements.