Working trip to Vitebsk Oblast

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has ordered to improve operational efficiency of Orsha Aircraft Repair Plant as he inspected the company on 11 July.

“The company’s owners are gone [shareholders Motor Sich (Ukraine) and Investment and Innovation Systems (Belarus)]. You are the owners now [government agencies]. All the former owners of the company chose to withdraw. Therefore, go ahead. This is a state-run company from now on,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko was informed that the company had already been prepared to get incorporated into the public sector. The president reproved the Ministry of Transport and Communications for letting things slide in the past. He emphasized that this inaction could not be justified by the fact that the government had no stake in the company. “The company employs my people, your people – Belarusian people. What difference does it make who owns the shares? It is our task to make sure that people get a decent salary,” the Belarusian leader said addressing minister Anatoly Sivak.  

The President ordered to bring the company under the umbrella of the ministry by the end of July. “The plant should be up and running whatever the cost. It should not just be there, it should grow. I want to see the architectural design and study the business plan to expand the airport and other matters. Get down to work and make up your mind. God forbid I come here again and see the same situation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

He deems it necessary to flesh out short-term development plans and also outline the company’s long-term prospects keeping in mind that a company like that will be in demand for many years to come. “Helicopter production and upgrade, restoration and repair will always be in demand, because there is a plenty of helicopters in the world. You will always have your fair share of work,” the head of state noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that if traditional partners fail to supply the necessary component parts, the company should forge new partnerships and start its own production of components. “Do not ever think that there is nothing we can do about it. We need to hold on to this business because there are enough helicopters for repair and upgrade. Thousands of people [the company’s employees], expertise and knowledge – the company has everything in place to operate successfully,” Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced.  

The head of state noted that the state might lend a helping hand to the company. “We might provide certain assistance for a certain period of time, however, the bulk of the work should be done here,” he said.

The President paid attention to the average salary of the employees that is still significantly below the Br1,000 target.

The head of state was briefed on the financial standing and economic performance of the company, its borrowings, effective and potential contracts, and plans to explore other lines of business. Apart from that, Aleksandr Lukashenko urged to bring order to the company’s premises.  

The President also inspected the Bolbasovo settlement where the plant is located. Aleksandr Lukashenko ordered to complete its general improvement and landscaping by 7 November and to focus on the job creation and social infrastructure development. “Why do I care so much about Baran and Bolbasovo [settlements in Orsha District]? Because it is a great place to live. Why not live here? People will stay here if they have jobs. We need to give them jobs. However, our negligence can prevent us from keeping people busy,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President wanted a development plan for Bolbasovo similar to that of Kopys. The head of state was informed that this work is already in progress; the development and landscaping plan for Bolbasovo has already been elaborated.

It is necessary to expedite the establishment of a multimodal industrial and logistics complex in the town of Bolbasovo, Orsha District, Vitebsk Oblast. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave the relevant instructions as he visited Vitebsk Oblast.

OOO Bremino Group is in charge of implementing this investment project. The project is slated for completion in late December 2023. The industrial and logistics hub will include an automobile terminal and a railway one, an aviation sector, universal manufacturing modules, an industrial zone, showrooms, and a hotel. Bremino Group is now busy working on the first stage of the project – the automobile terminal with a warehouse and an administrative wing for accommodating customs service and other government agencies. The first stage of the project will be finished in late 2018.

Alexander Zaitsev, chairman of the council of Bremino Group participants, told Aleksandr Lukashenko that the industrial and logistics complex will start working before it is fully completed. It is supposed to handle the complete workload starting with the first stage of the investment project.

The head of state noted that the implementation of consequent stages of the investment project should be expedited if possible if the private sector expects profit from this project. “If you see that you can do business, it is necessary to expedite things. I am ready to help you get things done faster,” stated the Belarusian leader.

Alexander Zaitsev confirmed that there are good opportunities for developing all the components. There are good prospects in transportation by rail due to the transit of containers from China to Europe. Transportation by air also has a lot of promise. The company has already started working on these directions. Clients are being sought.

Speaking about transportation by air, Alexander Zaitsev mentioned plans to create a flower exchange in order to sell flowers on markets in the region. There are plans to transship foreign flowers, for instance, from Ecuador, in addition to shipping flowers grown in Belarusian greenhouses. Besides, the volume of mail packages transported by air has increased considerably in the last few years due to online trade. The multimodal complex intends to develop this area of business, too. “We intend to become a key location for providing logistics services in Belarus and Russia’s Central Federal District,” said Alexander Zaitsev.

Alexander Zaitsev remarked that the total cost of creating the hub is estimated at roughly $220 million. However, the money will not be invested in one go. As parts of the hub are commissioned, some of the generated profits will be reinvested in consequent development.

“We are pressed for time and the market changes fast. This is why it has to be done faster,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko. “I am ready to help. You just have to do it faster in order to give jobs to people. Then it will be necessary to help with accommodation. People are the key while we can easily build warehouses. I want this project to produce an effect not only for the state. I want this project to create jobs and homes for people.”

The development of the local airport, the construction and accomplishment of a modern runway for cargo aircraft and business aviation were discussed in detail. “It is necessary to develop business aviation and storage for aircraft here,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also gave instructions to expedite the design and the relevant work involved in building the runway. “It is necessary to do the work we can do today. All the design work must be finished by 7 November. But you have to start working now,” said the Belarus President.