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Lukashenko sets import substitution targets

MINSK, ( BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko set import substitution targets as he delivered his annual Address to the Belarusian people and the National Assembly on 31 March, BelTA has learned.

“Import substitution and efforts to increase the share of innovative production are the most important tasks. We should not depend on the whims of the Western political elites, which limit the freedom of a civilized business,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state emphasized that it was a matter of national security. “There is a wide field for implementation of the most daring ideas of the Belarusian scientists. Look: the enterprises that have long understood this are demonstrating export growth and saturating our market with high quality products,” he said.

The Belarusian leader added that sanctions had a positive effect as well. “I think, thank God, they imposed sanctions. A huge market has opened for us. Go and sell your products, which we are doing, by the way. We have succeeded by 70% so far. We need to add 30% more, and we need to do it fast,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“Last year we produced import-substituting products worth over $27 billion. This year we can add 10%. When there is a will, there is a way. We are not just talking about import substitution. We are talking about developing entire high-tech industries. This is the country's intellectual capital, production, new jobs and products with high added value,” the head of state said.

We have to work very quickly. “You see that the development of woodworking and other industries is held back by the lack of chemical components (hydrogen peroxide, sodium chlorate, carbamide). Set up production facilities for their manufacturing, train specialists. I repeat: it is the government that should react immediately. The Academy of Sciences should provide scientific support,” the Belarusian leader stressed.