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from 04.03.2016

Andrei Kobyakov made working visit to Brest Region

It is important for companies to see sources of growth in a complicated economic situation. Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov made the statement as he summed up results of his working visit to Brest Region on 4 March. While in Brest Oblast Andrei Kobyakov visited JSC Ivatsevichdrev, the Gefest Tekhnika enterprise of the Belarusian-Russian joint venture Brestgazoapparat, and Brest Electric Lamp Plant.

According to Andrei Kobyakov, on the one hand, complicated economic situations represent a test of durability. On the other hand, they represent an opportunity to become a leader. In his words, Brest Electric Lamp Plant has managed to survive in a difficult competition situation while many similar manufacturers, primarily in the ex-USSR, had to shut down in complicated economic conditions. Moreover, apart from surviving the Belarusian company sees sources of growth. Instead of seeing opportunities to make more products the company sees opportunities for developing the areas, which are in demand now and will stay in demand in the future, said the Prime Minister of Belarus.

Andrei Kobyakov mentioned the company’s difficult situation from the point of view of financial relations. “The accounts payable are rather large. It is necessary to service loans. Energy costs are large and the technology requires a lot of energy. Since the value of foreign currencies was fluctuating, prices for energy resources were changing as well. Naturally all these factors affected the company’s economy,” explained the Belarusian head of Government.

Nevertheless, according to the Prime Minister, Brest Electric Lamp Plant is ready to become the industry’s leader in the entire ex-USSR. In his words, the fact that the company’s partners, which are internationally recognized companies, are interested in manufacturing cooperation with the Belarusian factory is the proof.

Speaking about Ivatsevichdrev, Andrei Kobyakov noted that out of all the woodworking enterprises that have been modernized by the timber, woodworking, pulp and paper industry concern Bellesbumprom, Ivatsevichdrev is the most successful one. The company was modernized at least two or three years ahead of the others. It has a good portfolio of orders, the manufacturing installations operate at 100% of their capacity. The personnel work in three shifts. But there are also systemic issues. Those are primarily caused by the fact that the market of fiberboard products is experiencing a slump. The burden that still exists, the loans taken out for the sake of modernization are now much more difficult to service. This is why, Andrei Kobyakov said, it is necessary to carefully look into ways to keep the company operating in the black. “It is necessary to bring together the monetary flows. Banks should make some concessions. The company itself should find ways to reduce costs using extra reserves. It is a routine situation. We have agreed that we will work out measures to keep the company operating well and being able to service the loans it took as part of the retooling process,” said Andrei Kobyakov. “The government will lend a hand if need be, although I think it is possible to find internal reserves,” said the Prime Minister of Belarus.

Speaking about the Gefest Tekhnika enterprise, Andrei Kobyakov remarked that it is a fine example of a wise technological and economic policy. The enterprise operates effectively despite the negative market competition. “The enterprise operates well, enjoys good sales and had a net profit both in 2014 and 2015. Last year the enterprise’s profit grew even in U.S. dollar terms. Although the company could have the same problems with sales, spare parts, materials and so on,” said the Prime Minister. In his words, the company’s management deals with problems. The company has a well-developed distribution chain and is economically effective. “It is important to have such flagships, from which example we can learn. They can show how things should be done instead of whining. Results are produced this way,” concluded the Prime Minister.

JSC Ivatsevichdrev is part of the Bellesbumprom concern. The company is one of Belarus’ top manufacturers of particleboards. In 2012 the company implemented an investment project to commission a new particleboard shop, including laminated particleboards. The output capacity of the new facility is 250,000m3 per annum. The high-tech enterprise is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment supplied by the world’s top manufacturers. The merchandise sells well to furniture makers and civil engineering companies in Belarus and abroad.

The unitary enterprise Gefest Tekhnika was registered by the administration of the free economic zone Brest on 17 June 2003. The Belarusian-Russian joint venture Brestgazoapparat is the owner of the enterprise and its founder. The enterprise specializes in making all kinds of stationary gas stoves, electric stoves, gas-electric stoves as well as cooktops with and without ovens, standalone ovens, air cleaners and cooker hoods. All the products are sold under the trademark GEFEST.

The public joint-stock company Brest Electric Lamp Plant is Belarus’ only producer of incandescent lamps for general and special purposes. The company is one of the largest producers of incandescent lamps in the CIS and Europe. The merchandise is used in various branches of the production sector, automobile transport, railway transport, air transport, water transport, for lighting residential, public, and industrial buildings. The company was certified for compliance with the ISO-9001 quality management system in 1998. Apart from incandescent lamps the company makes compact energy-saving lamps as well as high-pressure sodium-vapor lamps for street lighting and greenhouse lighting.