Working trip to Vitebsk Oblast

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko outlined Belarus’ development concept with a focus on improving the quality of life in towns and villages. The head of state made the relevant statements on 7 July during a working visit to Vitebsk Oblast where he visited the town of Kopys, Orsha District.

The head of state heard out reports on the social and economic development of the town and the agriculture industry of Shklov District. The matter was about the establishment of the integrated company OAO Kupalovskoye and the proposed investment projects to develop the high-tech manufacture in this company.

Aleksandr Lukashenko got familiar with the progress in the development of the town and visited the facilities currently under construction or recently renovated. Among them were the district hospital, Petrovsky Val historical site and the Dnieper river embankment.

Instructions regarding the development of the town of Kopys were given in November 2016. Since then the engineering and transport infrastructure in the town has been improved: streets and roads upgraded; new social, retail, tourist and sport facilities set up; the existing enterprises upgraded. The president was informed that the preferences of local residents were taken into account. The work was carried out in the shortest possible time, efficiently and cost-effectively.

“I would like to reiterate: we are not doing this for the show off. In fact, we want to show how we should develop such towns. There are 60 to 70 such settlements. Naturally, we need to bring them into a good condition,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko explained that Kopys was chosen for this pilot project not because it is the birthplace of the head of state. The main motive behind the decision was that the president knows the place very well and can himself evaluate the relevance of measures suggested for the development of the town. “We wanted to set an example for others,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

A decision was taken to renovate two similar towns in each region of Belarus every year. The work is scheduled for completion during a five-year term.

“Thus we will be able to loop the vertical which I once spoke about: Minsk, regional centers, district centers (they have all been fixed up and tided up, even in Vitebsk Oblast). Next in line are towns and villages which used to be home to integrated farms,” the president said.

With regard to the so-called ‘unpromising’ villages, we will not focus our main efforts on them. But if there are people who want to spruce them up we will welcome this. Many people hail from such villages. They went to school there, and may want to get them brushed up, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The president stressed that it is necessary to set up manufacturing facilities in such small population centers, create jobs for local residents. They must conform to the highest international standards. “We have already come  more than half way in this regard. We need to finish this process,” the head of state noted.

As an example, he cited OAO Alexandriyskoe. The large agricultural holding company has brought together several small farms. There are plans to set up an even more promising manufacturer OOO Kupalovskoye not far from it. “Right in between them lies the town of Kopys. “Why not set up a processing facility here? Maybe in the future we will merge these two into one holding company, and the main processing center will be in Kopys. These will be small shops that will process meat, milk and other products,”  Aleksandr Lukashenko added.

Today we need to decide on how to further develop the country, how to improve the distribution of the population. For people to live in towns like Kopys, it is necessary to create good conditions. To ensure future prosperity of this region, we need to make sure that people live here, build homes. They will live here only if they have good, stable jobs, Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.

“Kopys illustrates how a small town should look like, and Kupalovskoye is an example of a 21st-century agricultural company. This is the path we will follow in rebuilding and developing Belarus,” the Belarusian leader said.

During the working visit, the president was also reported on the social and economic development of the district. Despite some positive trends, the head of state drew attention to the need to improve the quality of indicators related to the performance of industries and individual companies.