GOMEL, 17 November (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko is paying a visit to the Gomel MA Kristall – Managing Company of Kristall Holding on 17 November, BelTA has learned.
Kristall Director General Ruslan Sorokovoi reported to the head of state on the progress made as part of the effort to modernize diamond processing production and measures taken to improve the efficiency of the enterprise.
The Gomel jewellery plant Kristall was established in 1972 as one of the seven plants of the same name in the Soviet Union. Today only two enterprises continue operating in Belarus' Gomel and Russia's Smolensk.
“In 1993, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the main task was to meet the capacity of the plant. The fact that diamond processing still exists somewhere outside India (today more than 90% of all diamond processing is in India), including Belarus, is solely thanks to the decisions taken at your level. By preserving diamond processing, we managed to develop jewellery production in the country, which enables us to produce more marginal products. Today, diamond processing accounts for 20% of our production, jewelry accounts for 80%,” Ruslan Sorokovoi said.
All targets for both the enterprise and the holding company are met, the director general said.
According to him, the plant buys raw materials mainly in Russia. The plant is also starting to cooperate with Zimbabwe as well.
“We will support and encourage you in this respect. They are meeting us halfway. One should not put eggs in one basket,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
A new line of business for Kristall is the production of gold bars for the Finance Ministry. The ministry sells them to economic entities, banks and other credit and financial organizations of Belarus. This is a serious contribution to import substitution, because previously the bars were supplied to Belarus from Western European countries.
The president instructed to take these issues under special control in order to replace imports of these products in full. “Can we do everything for the National Bank? We should import nothing from Switzerland starting from next year, and already this year,” he emphasized.
Aleksandr Lukashenko got familiar with the stages of jewellery production and diamond processing at the plant.
The Gomel jewelery plant Kristall is the leading manufacturer of jewelry, polished diamonds and diamond tools in Belarus. In 2013 the enterprise was included in the list of preferred clients of the world's largest diamond mining company Alrosa (Russia).