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Brest Mayor on city development and 1,000th anniversary celebrations

What has been done in recent years and what awaits Brest residents during the celebrations of the city's 1,000th anniversary? Brest Mayor Alexander Rogachuk has given an interview to our TV channel.

Alexander Rogachuk, Chairman of the Brest City Executive Committee:
We know that even despite our city is now on the Republican Board of Honor it's not a reason for complacency, it is not a reason to stop, it is only a good, wonderful stimulus for moving forward, first of all the movement by 2019. This year Brest will celebrate the 1000th anniversary.

Brest uniquely combines various components. It cannot be called a purely industrial city, it cannot be called a city consisting of artifacts. It is very organic due to the special geographical situation, due to its history.

The task of the authorities is to develop these components very well. Because it is not a resort town and not an industrial giant, since we do not have large industrial facilities. We realize that the structure of the assessment of a city's social and economic development is changing. It is moving away from a purely industrial component to a more serious, broad component, where there are many components, including tourist attractiveness of a city.

It's no secret that many European cities are tourism-dependent. We have twin cities that depend on tourism very much in terms of city budget. Here we see great reserves. Brest is the gateway of Belarus, the gateway of our Belarus-Russia Union State, it is the Brest Fortress, this is our brand Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Therefore, active work is currently underway on the status of visa-free stay in Brest. This is a very good project, which would give us a powerful impetus to attract investment and tourist attraction.

Now we are working on the reconstruction of our historical symbols. I mean the museum "Berestie", the same Brest Fortress. The Brest Fortress is a point of attraction.

500,000 people annually visit the Brest Fortress.

This is according to statistics; in fact, of course, the figure is much larger.

Our task is to keep a tourist who travels to Europe not for one day, but for two days. We set ourselves such tasks.

We are looking for new historical markers, we are looking for new legends that will allow tourists to see Brest not only in the context of the same fortress, but to see something in our thousand-year history.

And of course, it is very important that the infrastructure of the city corresponds to the possible flow of tourists. Therefore, of the 15 major investment projects that are being implemented in our city, two projects involve the construction of hotels belonging to world brands.

First of all, our plans are correlated with the order of the Belarusian President to prepare for the 1,000th anniversary of Brest. Brest residents are very grateful to the head of state for the attention that he gives to our city. The implementation of order No.142 is now the main leitmotif. This involves the construction of schools, kindergartens, roads, embankment, construction; and (I'm not afraid of this word) one of the largest infrastructure projects of the Republic of Belarus - "Western Bypass".

The city of Brest is unique in that its urban area is the state border. As such, the ring road around Brest is very difficult to build. But modern trends in infrastructure development require that there is a bypass road. Thanks to the help of the head of state, the region's leadership has now begun to implement the second stage of "Western Bypass". Imagine a 2 km long flyover at an altitude of 10 m. An overpass that will allow you to safely leave "Warsaw Bridge" to the M1, after bypassing the city or visiting the city from any direction. This is a complex engineering project, which is implemented by Brest designers and contractors. It will be a pride, it will be a symbol of our city in terms of dynamism. This flyover is very beautiful.

It's very nice that, in preparation for the 1000th anniversary, we turned to business entities with a request to give their suggestions, what can they do for our city.

As many as 235 points of the city development plan will be carried out at the expense of extrabudgetary funds, at the expense of European grants and business entities.

Everybody knows such large business entities that glorify both the city of Brest and the Republic of Belarus. However, without money, without a budget the city will not develop. Therefore, real jobs, real economy and service sector is the reserve that needs to be developed.

As far as the investment attractiveness of Brest is concerned. The Free Economic Zone "Brest" performs its task. Now, in accordance with the decisions of the government and the head of state, the area of ​​the free economic zone is expanding, including within the framework of our city. New industries appear, including new enterprises with the participation of foreign capital.

But this will never be enough. This should always be an incentive for further attracting loans and investments. It's important to diversify foreign markets. 80% goes to the Russian Federation. It's great.

This is a reliable partner, but we also have the EU and Ukraine nearby. We need to enter new markets, which we are doing now.

We really love our city. We do not even envy Minskers, because there is no better place than Brest.

I am sure that the synergy of all these efforts will result in the 1000-year-old Brest becoming beautiful, young and a very interesting historical sight in 2019.

Alexander Rogachuk, head of Brest City Executive Committee