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Alexander Lukashenko meets with President of the European Committee of the Regions

On May 23, President Alexander Lukashenko met with Markku Markkula, President of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union. The head of state is sure that Belarus has a lot in common with this organization. After all, the main task facing this EU committee is to ensure a decent standard of living for people in small towns and villages. This is in fact paid much attention in Belarus. The dialogue touched on many interesting topics.

Taner, head of a jeans apparel manufacturing enterprise:
We are now here to make jeans in Turkey, Europe, and Italy. There will be a big production facility. We will make boiling and other effects. And Belarus will not lose money.

Jeans from Kobrin... This phrase appeared in March 2017. Equipment is from Turkey, while the regional executive committee allocated a place for production. 56 jobs were created.

Two stores were opened: in Kobrin and Brest. Recently, the company has branched into linen jeans - the first in Belarus. Raw materials come from the Orsha Flax Factory.

Alla Pashkovich, head of a jeanswear production facility:
Over time, we will increase the pace and turnover of our products, develop the assortment with each month and day more and more.

50,000 new jobs annually is a recent task of the Belarus President. Belarus strives to strategically create points of economic growth in regions outside of the well-developed capital.

Take the Vitebsk region, for instance. Undoubtedly, such enterprises as Naftan are local points of growth. However, the tourism potential of the Braslav Lakes, not fully realized, makes it possible to increase revenues from tourism.

How can one decrease a big gap in the economic development of territories? This is a topical issue for the European Union.

The meeting of the Bureau of the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities of the Eastern Partnership in Minsk showed that there are enough points of contact between Belarus and the EU. The regional policy of Europe directs investments in the economic development of less successful regions at the expense of the more successful ones.

Belarus has never spared money for support for regions and revival of villages. Agro-towns have appeared as drivers of growth for villages. Young specialists go to regions solving staffing problems of the state. State orders for dairy farms is a small part of the support provided.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We have faced these problems for a long time, since the Soviet times. These are the problems that our people live in, in the outback, in localities, in villages, in small towns.
Your events that took place in Belarus are closely intertwined with the normalization of relations between Belarus and Europe. I am absolutely convinced that the visit of your experts will be another step in establishing good-neighborly relations between Belarus and the European Union.

Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions:
Thank you for inviting and holding events in Minsk. The influence of our organization in Europe is very high. We, like you in Belarus, pay special attention to people from small settlements and villages in order to provide the appropriate level of social security and life. To achieve the key goal of a stable social position in society as a whole.

Investments in regional development, benefits for creating businesses and new jobs there - all this is relevant on both sides of the border.

In 2016, Belarus developed sustainable development strategies for regions outside of Minsk. Before that, they existed only at the level of a single district or town.

Such scaling is another evidence of Belarus' heightened attention to the problem of uneven development of regions. Cooperation with the EU is an opportunity to learn from experience and use effective financial instruments. The goal for both sides is the same: to teach the economic independence and effectiveness of small towns and even villages.

Alexander Lukashenko meets with President of the European Committee of the Regions