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17 June 2016, 14:12

Opinion: Investment in agriculture promotes competitive edge of products

MINSK, 17 June (BelTA) – Investment in the agro-industrial complex has a positive effect on the competitive ability of products, Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives' permanent commission on agrarian policy Vladislav Tsydik told BelTA as he commented on Belarus' draft social and economic program for 2016-2020.

According to the MP, special focus of the program is on further highly efficient development of the agricultural sector. “Investment in this sector has recently improved the gross output and competitive edge of the products, which positively affected their exports,” said Vladislav Tsydik. In his words, the agro-industrial complex has become Belarus' main currency earner. Annually the country receives nearly %5 billion from the exports of its food products and stock. “Here, a conclusion can be made that the measures taken by the President and the government meet the expectations. However, there are a number of agricultural companies (nearly 320 farms) that need immediate action. It, first of all, pertains to the restructuring of loss-making and marginally profitable enterprises,” the MP said.

According to Vladislav Tsydik, Decree No.78 will address the issue of loss-making companies through their restructuring (sales as property, merging with highly-efficient facilities, including farms, setting up new agricultural companies and so on).

“There are enough reserves in the agricultural sector. This means that the Belarusian People's Congress will raise the issue of reducing the prime costs by at least 25% in order to complete on equal with the products of other countries, including when our country will join the WTO,” he said.

According to the MP, it is very important for many economic entities to be paid for the raw material payments supplied to processing companies and products supplied to retail chains. Such non-payments badly affect the financial situation of agricultural enterprises. They have to apply to banks for loans in order to buy fuel, spare parts, plant protection agents, fertilizers and much more.

He also noted that the draft program provides for the further development of the cultural and historical heritage of the country, especially the preservation of historical monuments. “A lot has already been done in the country in this regard. The flow of tourists in Belarus has increased. The country has become an interesting and attractive place to visit,” the MP noted.

“The draft program of social and economic development for 2016-2020 defines the strategic approaches to the further development of the national economy and improving the living standards of people,” the MP noted.

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