Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant privatization not on the cards for now

Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant privatization not on the cards for now

The state is not going to sell Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (MZKT trademark) now, said Alexander Lukashenko while visiting the company on August 14. The Head of State familiarized himself with the work of the new production facilities and was shown samples of products. In addition, the President talked with the staff of the plant.

Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant grew from a small design office, established in 1954 at MAZ. That was the peak of the arms race. MZKT's branded products were wheeled chassis for Soviet defense sector. The so-called nuclear shield of the Soviet Union rested in many respects on Belarusian chassis. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the number of orders fell and the factory branched out into civil machinery. Then in the early 2000s, it took a leading position in the CIS for the production of chassis for every taste. This was the result of modernization.

The smallest vehicle produced by the factory has 8 wheels and the biggest one has 24! Products of this class are made by a few enterprises in the world. Belarusian chassis are bought by 20 armies. From Venezuela and Africa to Russia and China. Six years ago the company was transferred to the ownership of the State Military and Industrial Committee. And a large-scale modernization began.

MZKT is the only enterprise in the CIS where unique know-hows helped to not only preserve but also develop production processes.

For example, automatic transmission. Alexander Lukashenko drew attention to the fact that machinery should have as many Belarusian parts as possible.

MZKT exports more than 80 percent of products. MZKT is posting good economic performance. In general, the State Military and Industrial Committee of Belarus does not have any loss-making enterprises.

Sergei Gurulev, Chairman of the State Military and Industrial Committee of the Republic of Belarus:
In July, we reviewed and approved the plan for development until 2020. Basically, they are all provided with orders and working. We are working on the diversification of export. The way of entering a market is simple: new products, higher quality and costs that are profitable for partners.

Annually, MZKT produces two to seven new types of equipment.

Recently, there have been a lot of talk about a possible sale of MZKT.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
Why did I decide to come to your company? I was proposed a number of times to sell this company. Today the leadership of the plant were tasked with preserving the Russian market. Why lose it if we have it now? Yes, we have to compete there. But if there is no competition, you will not grow, you will be left behind and they will begin to buy western goods, not ours. Competition should be fair. That is why we entered into the Eurasian Economic Union, so that we have common rules. And for now we are not losing this competition as a non-private company. Hence, government companies can also work. Therefore, today I clearly tell you that we do not intend to sell this enterprise for now.

The once-secret design bureau of MAZ, MZKT has become a good platform for sincere conversations. The President answered questions of the company's workers.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
People want to be paid more. And preferably do less work. I totally understand you. But this is not important now. A brutal re-division of the world has begun. Today, things are much more complicated. The whole world today teamed up to fight ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). Everyone is fighting against it: Americans are concerned as well as Europe, Russia, Belarus and so on. But no one thought: how did this ISIL, which groups people from all over the world, oppose such powerful countries that are supposedly fighting against it? Western coalition led by America cannot cope with them. And why? Because someone from this coalition is financing ISIL. Someone benefits from it and guess who. They want to change the architecture of the world. To divide the hydrocarbon-rich lands or rather take them.  And not with their own hands but with the hands of those poor fellows who were brainwashed and go to die for some money. Everything is much more complicated. A division of the world is now underway. And the salary is a very important thing. But as a President I am tasked with defending the country. This is a turbulent sea and we don't have a ship. We have a boat and we need to save it.
We look at the situation in Ukraine in a very simplistic way: nationalists, fascists, corruption and so on. This is what is on the surface. But the war in Ukraine broke out not only for domestic reasons. Yes, it was convenient to turn everything upside down. But behind this fight are big powers, from both sides. So to save this little piece of land (not for us, probably for our children) is the main task today. This is the feature of the present day. I am often asked: "And what would you want?". I reply: I don't want to live on someone else's land. I don't want us to again put on sandals and be lashed as it has always been in our history. That's the main issue today. Therefore, continuing on Ukraine (I am by no means playing on this subject), we must understand that if we miss the moment and allow to be hit somewhere, we will be dealt with much faster than Ukraine. But we can survive only if we are together and if we provide internal stability.

MZKT workers asked much about things not related to the life of the company.

Tatiana Rukhlevich, head of customs clearance office of Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant:
I would like to hear from you a kind of blessing of the youth. So that our young people are not lost in the modern world. Where should they go to study to be promising?

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
One cannot reproach the authorities for not being able to provide people with decent working places. I will give you an example: 7-10 years ago, during the debates, those who are now eager to be a president, were strongly against my decision to launch our own spacecraft (BelKA - note by CTV staff). It is now working in orbit and is completely paying off. But I am talking about the following. By launching this satellite, we established production facilities. There is demand. Who will work there? Youth. And look: mostly young people are working there. Is this not a prospect? And there is nothing above space.  

The President received a symbolic gift from of the plant staff: a small model of the national multiple launch rocket system "Polonaise", which characteristics struck military experts this year.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
Thank you, well done. You know the story of this product. When our brothers Russians did not want to really help us in this regard, so that we could protect the country and inflict unacceptable damage to those who want to fight against us, I ordered to make a powerful and advanced missile system. Our Armed Forces are starting to receive these systems. And you are part of this great work. That's the story. Thank you for this story!