MINSK, 4 January (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Sivak and Architecture and Construction Minister Ruslan Parkhamovich to receive their report on 4 January, BelTA has learned.
“No construction means no development of the country. It is an axiom, and it is clear to everyone, especially to you, who have been working in the construction sector for a long time. If we take a look at the performance of the construction industry last year (I have the data as of the end of November, maybe something changed in December), I can say that there is not much to be happy about,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
According to the data presented to the head of state, the construction industry accounted for less than 5% in GDP in January-November 2021. The growth rate of construction and assembly works made up less than 90%, exports of services - about 97%, production of building materials - just over 100%. “Those are also not the figures we need. There are certain problems. I want to know the causes?” the president asked.
Aleksandr Lukashenko was also interested in the work to reduce the number of long-term construction projects: “How many of them do we have and when will we deal with this issue?”
The president also touched upon the measures to reduce the time and cost of construction. According to the president, this topic is under special control, and people are also concerned about it. “People say that construction is sometimes unaffordable. What can we do to reduce both the time and the cost of construction?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked.
The head of state also spoke about the export of construction services. In his words, Russia lacks qualified personnel in the sector and Belarus could offer its services. “Either you are shy to go there, or there really are some problems there. You tell me and I will discuss these issues with the Russian president. I think, we will be able to move forward. There are probably problems on our side as well,” the president added.
According to Ruslan Parkhamovich, housing construction is the main priority of the industry, and it has always been so.
He stressed that the preliminary results of the construction industry for 2021 give reason to believe that all indicators of housing construction will be implemented in full. It is expected that the total commissioning of housing for last year will make up 4.3 million square meters as against the target of 4 million square meters. “This is 108% of the target and 104% of the previous year's level,” said Ruslan Parkhamovich.
After the meeting with the president, the minister told the media that the main reason for the failure of some indicators in the construction industry was the reduction of investment activity in Belarus. “That is why the volume of construction and assembly works were below 100%, and the domestic exports were also below 100% as well. Even those successes that we can boast about (130% to the level of 2020 in terms of construction works abroad), unfortunately, did not compensate the lag that was formed in the country,” he added.
This year, the government has set a task to more actively advance to foreign markets, the minister said. “We have been given a target of $750 million for exports of construction services for 2022 [from January till November 2021 it was $580 million, and by the end of the year it will be $610-615 million - note by BelTA]. If implemented, it will cover the shortcomings of the previous year,” Ruslan Parkhamovich added.