Meeting on issues facing the national industry of building materials and ways to address them

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The Belarusian construction industry is able to increase exports, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the meeting to discuss the issues facing the national industry of building materials on 28 July.

“Today’s most important task is to sell our goods at a good price and secure the return of currency proceeds to the country. A lot depend on it, including the ability of the upgraded companies to pay off their loans, the availability of resources for production development and wage increase,” the President said.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus has considerable raw resources to develop its building materials sector. In his words, domestic plants producing cement and glass plate have been upgraded for this purpose. The upgrade of large-panel house-building factories is nearly complete.

“This means we have created all the conditions to satisfy the domestic demand and build up the exports,” the President emphasized.

In his words, due to the growing competition and the contraction of foreign markets, the quality and competitive edge come to the fore.

"So far almost 80% of the country's building materials has been sold domestically. As I have been reported, the demand has been shrinking, the industry dynamics worsening, and the additional capacities used inefficiently," said the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that a range of instructions has been given in due time to facilitate the development of the building materials industry. In that connection, he asked the government to report on the status of these instructions, on the things that prevent the successful operation of the industry and the measures taken to promote the financial recuperation of enterprises. He also inquired whether the government is planning any additional measures.

"We need to determine what needs to be done first thing to help the industry. We also should develop the systematic approaches to address the challenges," the President said.

He asked the government officials to remember that the matter is about the core organizations with many employees. "The well-being of more than 50,000 workers and their families directly depends on the stable operation of these enterprises,” the President noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko urged that the prime cost of building materials should be lowered. He emphasized the need to reduce expenses in the sector. A lower prime cost is a necessity for healthy sales and competition on the neighboring markets.

According to Belarus’ Minister of Architecture and Construction Anatoly Chyorny, the markets of building materials have recently contracted. Investment activity has weakened including on the market of Belarus’ neighbors.

In this connection, the government asked the President to provide the state support to the enterprises, in particular of the cement and glass industries. Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the basic criterion for giving financial support to these enterprises is cost reduction. Only when the enterprises produce results on this front that we will start discussing possible state support, the President noted.

During the meeting, the President drew attention to the need to protect the domestic market.