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How will Belarus benefit from new tobacco project?

The suggestion to change the working system in the sector of producing and selling tobacco goods has been considered by President Lukashenko today.

The sector is actively developing and today it is one of the main sources of the country’s budget. The business community initiated making the changes to this sector. Businessmen are suggesting increasing the efficiency of this sector in economy, which will increase the financial component as well.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
There are two reasons why I would like to discuss this problem together with specialists, manufacturer, and members of the government and with those, who sell tobacco goods. The first reason is the big demand on these goods beyond the borders of Belarus. It is clear that it is an excisable good; the budget receives big money from it. Despite the fact that I personally can’t stand smokers and alcohol drinkers.

Nevertheless, this sector in Belarus is actively developing, and not only due to this demand on this kind of products. As for Belarus, lately, as I am being informed, the demand on these goods has been stabilized and there is no growth.

It is already good.

The second reason is the suggestions of certain Belarusian businessmen on improving the production and realization of these goods. Some foreign businessmen have addressed me not to long ago and said that Belarusian plants do not want to manufacture for export. There are big niches in the EU and they are beneficial for Belarus. Why don’t we want to fill them? I ordered to check this information. I think that I will be reported on the issue today.

It is important for us to make a decision which corresponds to the interests of Belarus.

I promised to those who made suggestions that decisions will be made in public and they will be within the country’s interests. If somebody today suggests schemes according to which we will be working in the sector of selling tobacco goods, they will be realized straight away. But the principal is universal: it must be more beneficial than the current scheme.

A task has been set according to the results of the meeting: to prepare document which will give green light to private investment project from 2018. The realization of the project during four years will bring the budget additional 210 million rubles, the potential amount is 400 million rubles.

Mikhail Rusyi, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
A universal commodity distribution network is being created in Belarus; it will deal with the realization on both the internal and the external markets. The Belarusian National Union of Consumer Societies (Belkoopsoyuz) and Belpochta (The Belarusian Post) have approaches worked out. Some 3000 kiosks will be built and it is a minimum of 3000 new working places and so on. This package has been delivered, to whom it has been sold, has the tax been paid or not.

If to compare with the year 2000, the production of tobacco goods in Belarus increased by three times, the export grew by nearly 16 times, the import decreased by more than 25 times. The internal market today is supplied by Belarusian goods by more than 95%.

How will Belarus benefit from new tobacco project?