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05 December 2019, 19:01

Belarus' new first vice premier unveils his action plan

Dmitry Krutoi and Sergei Rumas
Dmitry Krutoi and Sergei Rumas

MINSK, 5 December (BelTA) – Dmitry Krutoi who was recently appointed first deputy prime minister, has named his priorities in the new capacity. These priorities include investment, entrepreneurship promotion and regional development. On 5 December Prime Minister Sergei Rumas introduced the new first vice premier to the Office of the Council of Ministers, BelTA has learned.

Before the new appointment Dmitry Krutoi was economy minister. Before that he had worked in the Forestry Ministry. As the economy minister he coordinated efforts to draft the action plan of the new government; now he is coordinating preparation of the Union State integration road maps.

“You are familiar with the people in the government, you know all of them. You also know all the offices in this building as you were economy minister. I hope that you will embark on the work right away; there is nothing new for you here,” Sergei Rumas said.

The head of government wished him success in his new role. He noted that Dmitry Krutoi who is 38 years old became the youngest deputy prime minister in the history of sovereign Belarus.

Dmitry Krutoi noted that he will not need any time for familiarization because the Economy Ministry is a kind of small government: this ministry reports directly to the Council of Ministers and maintains close ties with the government. He noted that the tasks outlined by the president on 5 December were about the economy, therefore they have to do with the government, too.

After Dmitry Krutoi was introduced to the Office of the Council of Ministers, he told a BelTA reporter what tasks he will embark on first in the capacity of the first vice premier.

One of the most important tasks is raising investment, improving laws and redefining the entire investment agenda. “Belarus should offer the best terms for investment, in particular for foreign direct investment. A fierce fight for investors is ongoing; all nations are trying to woo investors by offering them the biggest preferences and benefits. Belarus should not stay behind taking into consideration that we have very good groundwork in this field: there are free economic zones, the Hi-Tech Park. Thus, the investment agenda will be among the priorities,” Dmitry Krutoi explained.

“The second most important thing is labor productivity. There is fair criticism that productivity is unacceptably low in some enterprises. Therefore, the government should keep looking for reserves to increase the added value and consequently salaries,” the first deputy prime minister said.

The government will keep working to promote and encourage entrepreneurship. “We have created the necessary conditions for doing business. Now all these documents should be translated into reality. We need to provide as much assistance to the business community as possible,” he believes.

Another task is to improve the demographic situation. “Taking into consideration the issues that emerged in the mid-1990s and the demographic pitfall the country has plunged into, we need to take action to improve the demographic situation, so that we will be able to balance the budget and budget spending in the mid-term perspective,” Dmitry Krutoi said.

Regional development is another area of focus. The government has been working on it very hard this year. Dmitry Krutoi cited Orsha District and other poorly performing regions as a case in point. He also mentioned projects in 11 big cities. “There are three major pilot projects; they should not lose momentum, in particular, next year. We have a new parliament, they need to reach out to people and help the government on this front,” the first vice premier concluded.

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