Working trip to Brest

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Salaries at all low-paying enterprises should be raised to Br1,000 in 2018, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said when he was informed about the social and economic development of Brest on 11 August.

When the President arrived at the airport of Brest he demanded to put the air hub in order. “It is essential to use all facilities and land plots here as intended. In accordance with Soviet standards, the total area was 500 hectares. But is bad when this land is neglected,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said addressing Brest Oblast Governor Anatoly Lis.

The head of state said that even if the airport does not operate at full capacity it does not mean that the situation will be the same in the future. “The territory that is not needed for the airport can be used for other purposes. Maybe some people will decide to build an enterprise there,” the President said. He instructed the Brest Oblast governor to put the airport in order.

Then Aleksandr Lukashenko went to the residential district of Brest where he was informed about the social and economic development of the city, erection of social infrastructure facilities, preparations for the 1000th anniversary of Brest.

The head of state was assured that the average salary in Brest will reach the level of Br1,000 by the end of 2017. “The average salary in Belarus will reach Br1,000. Certain enterprises are doing their best to increase salaries, and it is good. However, about a half of all enterprises or maybe a bit fewer have small salaries. Our main objective is to help those enterprises raise their salaries to Br1,000 in 2018-2019, especially in 2018,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. In his words, if this instruction is fulfilled the average salary in the country can reach Br1,500.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also stressed that the average salary of Br1,000 which can be reached by the end of 2017 should not decrease at the beginning of 2018. “It is essential to stabilize the average salary at Br1,000, and to do our best to make the lowest salaries closer to the average level in 2018,” the head of state remarked.

Special attention was drawn to employment. “People should work. The so-called unemployed class should not emerge in Belarus. If we do not engage them in socially useful work, as we said some time ago, it means that we will create this class and it will grow. This is inadmissible,” the President said.

“Of course, there will be a small percentage of people who can do nothing. We will use specific methods to make them work. But there are also lazy people who can work. We must do our best to make them work.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that local authorities will have broad powers after the revision of Ordinance No. 3. The President said that the state will take resolute measures to make people work.

It was emphasized that local authorities must fulfill the instruction to create new jobs.

Aleksandr Lukashenko was also informed about the construction of objects for the 1000thanniversary of Brest. in particular, plans have been made to open a kindergarten, a secondary school, a football arena, and a bus terminal.

At the end of his working trip to Brest the President visited OAO Savushkin Product.

Aleksandr Lukashenko was informed about the financial and economic situation at the enterprise, its development prospects. Savushkin Product should mull over the possibility of taking over struggling agricultural enterprises, the President said. In particular, it was noted that this decision could be beneficial for business and the state. As a result of such transformations it will be possible to use Belarusian-made raw materials in an efficient way, raise salaries at affiliated agricultural enterprises and increase tax revenues.

“I am interested in increasing revenues to the state budget. Of course, it should be beneficial for OAO Savushkin Product. It has one problem with raw materials. If it gets access to raw materials and the state benefits it, I will accept the deal. It does not matter if a company is state-owned or private. Yes, Savushkin Product will get more, and it is good. At least there will be more effect from 1 tonne of milk,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

He instructed to mull over these issues before 1 January and think about the possible effect of this decision for the state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko gave OAO Savushkin Product the Honorary State Banner of the Republic of Belarus for the economic excellence. “This is a sign of recognition of the merits of your entire team and also an indicator of people's love that Savushkin Product has earned. The company's products are on the table of almost every family today,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated.

The President noted that thanks to the wide range and excellent quality the Savushkin Product dairy goods have gained popularity not only at home but also abroad. They are popular in Russia, Ukraine, the EU countries, China, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Korea, Israel and many other countries. Last year alone, the company exported over $210 million of goods.

“Over the past 10 years the company has invested almost $300 million in the expansion and modernization of its production facilities. It is important that the company has invested not only in technical upgrade and the construction of new production facilities but also in the expansion of the raw materials base. The company has been ramping up its production capacity by purchasing farms, reconstructing livestock complexes, and renewing dairy herd. With such attention to raw materials you are always provided with natural milk of the highest quality. All manufacturing and technological processes are certified for compliance with the highest international and national standards. The company has a modern laboratory equipment, and an advanced logistics center,” the head of state noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined that such impressive achievements would have been impossible without hard work, enterprising spirit, high professionalism of its executives and specialists, all members of the team. “Today's award is the well-deserved recognition of your fruitful work,” he concluded.

“We have started to get handsome returns on investments in the processing industry upgrade. Many enterprises with modern technologies have emerged in this segment of the economy. They demonstrate advanced production culture and flexibility, take care of the raw materials base, invest money in their own development, guarantee a good social package for employees and build housing for them. Perhaps, it pertains, first of all, to your enterprise because you are doing all that,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked addressing the personnel of the enterprise.

According to the head of state, the enterprises that were in need of the state support in the past have become a locomotive of a number of branches and a trademark of Belarus today. “This is the case of OAO Savushkin Product, the flagship of Belarus’ dairy industry,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the achievements of the enterprise are not accidental. They are the result of the state policy in agriculture. The country is in the process of transition from the development of agribusiness to the development of rural areas in general. “This allowed reviving Belarusian villages with their economic potential. You understand it very well because you are working with this potential and are creating it,” the President said. “Belarus is ahead of other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States in terms manufacturing the majority of agricultural products per capita. Belarus is ahead of such developed countries as the Netherlands, Germany, France in terms of milk production,” the head of state said.

As far as the production of foodstuffs is concerned, Belarus is a self-sufficient and export-oriented country. “Some time ago we did not have such a wide range of products in Belarus. There were consumer cards with tear-off coupons. Now we have forgotten about it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The export of foodstuffs exceeded $4 billion in 2016. Belarus is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of butter, quark, skimmed milk. “As for the domestic market, it has been saturated with Belarusian-made products that successfully compete with imported analogues thanks to their quality and affordability,” the President said.