The emergence and implementation of a series of significant import substitution projects in various parts of the country. This is the result of the initiative “One region - one project”, which the Head of State proposed for the development of regions. Without a doubt, the project became the driver of a positive movement in which both public and private enterprises were involved. Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of the Development Bank Sergei Stolyarchuk told a correspondent of the newspaper “Respublika” about the intensification of investment activity and support for local initiatives.
In recent years, the Republic of Belarus has faced a number of restrictive measures from Western countries, which were designed to have a negative impact on the work of gross-generating industries and, as a result, worsen the economic development of the country. However, this process had the opposite effect. The Belarusian economy has adapted to new conditions and is demonstrating progressive growth.
One of the main factors of this movement, notes Sergei Stolyarchuk, is the intensification of investment activity, which was preceded by the creation by the country’s leadership of favorable conditions for the implementation of the most ambitious plans and projects.
“As part of the measures outlined by the Government aimed at strengthening the Belarusian economy, two main vectors have been outlined that will contribute to the development of the country: the initiative “One District - One Project” and the creation of import-substituting industries,” he emphasizes.
The implementation of such projects is extremely necessary for all regions of the republic, without exception, because investments are the basis for the development of the economies of the regions and the country as a whole. Production is being updated and growing, new technologies are being introduced, labor productivity is increasing, and competitive products are being produced.
“The Development Bank occupies one of the key roles in this direction,” emphasizes the Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of the Development Bank. – We not only finance projects, but also provide their expert assessment, consulting support, and monitor the progress of implementation using BI analytics. It is worth noting that several banks are involved in the process of financial support for projects.
According to the interlocutor, more than 150 investment projects have been selected within the framework of the initiative “One District – One Project”. Also, about 70 large import substitution and integration projects are being implemented in the country. And this list is constantly expanding, thanks in part to the Development Bank, which not only finances this initiative, but is also constantly looking for new projects for it.
“The Development Bank has already made a decision to finance 19 projects in the amount of more than 760 million rubles,” informs Sergei Stolyarchuk. – Implementation plans and schedules have been developed for all of them, and each stage is monitored on a weekly basis. Based on the results of the third quarter, we see that most projects are on schedule. In the near future, we plan to explore the possibility of financing another 37 projects with an estimated cost of more than 2.4 billion rubles.
Goals are ambitious
The goals of the program “One District – One Project” are ambitious. This is not only the implementation of one investment project in the region and ensuring sustainable economic growth. First of all, we are talking about creating import-substituting industries, preventing the outflow of people from the regions through the creation of new highly efficient jobs that will increase the region’s wages to the national average.
Sergei Stolyarchuk is convinced that the economic environment that has formed in the country, the existing mechanisms of state support and the absence of some foreign competitors make it possible today, within the framework of this initiative, to bring to life all those projects that have been collecting dust on the shelf for a long time or could not find their real implementation earlier. Now is the time for both government organizations and business representatives to implement the most daring ideas and plans.
Most often, projects within the framework of the program “One District – One Project” are related to the production and processing of agricultural products, metallurgy, production of machinery and equipment, but there are also projects in the field of pharmaceutics, construction, woodworking, etc., the interlocutor says.
– As examples of large investment projects, it is worth noting JSC “Berezastroymaterialy” (production of ceramic tiles), IE “MedInterplast” (production of medicines), LLC “Zubr Energy” (production of batteries), PUE “Brest Traditions” (production of sausages), JSC “Agricultural Complex “Dzerzhinsky” (poultry farming and meat processing), OJSC “Borisov Plant of Medical Preparations” (production of solid dosage forms), as well as a number of other private and public enterprises, he notes. – Modernization of these industries is a significant factor for the development of regional economies. It is worth noting that Brest and Minsk regions are leaders in the number and capacity of investment projects in the country. And we are confident that in the short term they will make a qualitative contribution to the development of the internal regional product.
The secret of success is teamwork
The Development Bank considers its role in the process of project implementation not only at the stage of an idea ready for implementation, which only needs financing, emphasizes Sergei Stolyarchuk. According to him, the bank provides practical assistance in structuring projects. In some cases, non-standard solutions were even required. For example, by highlighting the stages of implementation, optimization of production capacity and debt burden.
“From the perspective of accumulated experience, we already at the preliminary stage aim the project implementer at competent forecasting of sales markets,” says the Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of the Development Bank. – We help to adapt the project to the realities of the current time with its possible integration into cooperation chains. Also, having data on trade flows, the Development Bank provides information on the potential interaction of enterprises from various sectors of the economy.
If the idea has already been thoroughly worked out in terms of project documentation, searching for equipment suppliers, sales markets and other important areas, then the Development Bank aims to quickly review and make a decision on financing the project. As a rule, this happens within two weeks, the interlocutor informs.“The main conditions of the financing are characterized, first of all, by a comfortable rate in the amount of 8 percent per annum, as well as a long loan term - up to 15 years,” says Sergei Stolyarchuk. “Therefore, neither representatives of local authorities nor project initiators should be afraid. It is only necessary to have an idea for a project that is significant and effective for the economy of the region and an initiative that is aimed primarily at the implementation of the idea itself. And then the Development Bank will provide all the necessary assistance within its power. Each of the projects, regardless of its scale, is important and significant for us. And there is confirmation of it. Some regions are already ready to implement not only the second, but also subsequent investment projects, and I am sure that we will see them in the near future.