MINSK, 10 March (BelTA) – All the best Belarusian brains, scientists, and product engineers should work not simply for the sake of import substitution but for the sake of the country's import independence. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement at a session of the Council of Ministers, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarus saw record-high net foreign currency earnings in 2022. “The nature of it is obvious: a favorable state of the export market and predictably halted import of equipment and technologies. Such deficit and pent-up demand may result in increased pressure on the currency market within the next few years. This is why we just have to supply ourselves with technologies,” he said.
In the current situation Belarus has already learned a powerful lesson of how sanctions-fuelled pressure should be offset, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked. The president once again reminded of his statement that sanctions represent a window of opportunity, particularly for Belarus that can find new markets. Moreover, Belarus has something to offer. Suffice it to recall the Belarusian R&D products, inventions, and technologies, which are showcased at the Intellectual Belarus exhibition all over the country. “So, feel free to commercialize these [R&D products and similar ones] now when the markets are vacant,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko believes the current situation represents a genuine reason and a stimulus for scaling up small manufacturing enterprises. “You have to create and assimilate Belarusian products everywhere where import substitution is practical. But with products with improved parameters instead of blind copying. It is necessary to minimize dependence on Western technologies and components within 2-3 years,” he said.
Apart from that, the head of state set the task of accelerating the realization of import substitution projects together with Russia as much as possible. “Those are manufacturing enterprises of crucial importance for both countries. Particularly microelectronics. Russia needs these products. I am told that shipments of Belarusian microelectronics to Russia increased by several times in the last few months. But we cannot stop. We have to conquer and hold on to the Russian market for future's sake. And we have to penetrate new markets in the future, too.”