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Economy
21 January 2021, 19:49

Belarusian footwear maker Belwest reports foreign trade surplus in 2020

VITEBSK, 21 January (BelTA) – Despite the complicated situation caused by the pandemic SOOO Belwest secured a foreign trade surplus in 2020, the company's Director General Yuri Sumaneyev told BelTA.

In 2020 Belwest managed to preserve its manufacturing business. “We didn't stop manufacturing. Certainly, we had to adjust the working hours but we kept working through the year. We were affected by lockdowns in the countries that buy our products. We lost about Br80 million in earnings. Nevertheless, we managed to secure a foreign trade surplus and earn $9.5 million,” Yuri Sumaneyev said. The success is attributed partially to sales of the stock in storage, including foreign sales via the distribution chain. Those sales netted nearly Br17.5 million.

During the current five-year term Belwest will focus on increasing the output in order to achieve high performance and compensate for the losses during the pandemic period. Yuri Sumaneyev believes that retooling and modernization represent one of the promising directions of the company's development. In 2020 Belwest spent Br5.5 million of its own money on equipment modernization. The company's robot line is now being tuned for faster defect identification and leather cutting.

The executive stressed: “Our company works only with natural materials: leather, fur, wool. Only materials without any defects can be used in our work. Our specialists can spot natural defects on died materials, including differences in tints, with a naked eye. They mark the defects so that the cutter could see which parts can be used during the next stage. The robot line will take care of these routine defect spotting operations once it is fully tuned. It will also rule out the human factor. The automation of such operations will reduce manufacturing costs. Respectively, it will have an effect on the price for finished products.”

The Belwest director general added that the development and adoption of modern technologies will allow the company to penetrate the global market. To make it happen, the company has to not only integrate robots into the manufacturing process but change the corporate resource management system. Belwest has recently updated its software by deploying the ERP system SAP S/4HANA, which allows working with cloud technologies. This software will give the capability to establish integration all over the world, sales in Europe and America, and oversee the operation of Belwest's branches in non-CIS states.

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