Barys Zhaliba: Belarus's car manufacturing projects with China and Iran are ridiculous
14:42, — Economics
Production of Iranian Samand and Chinese Geely cars in Belarus was doomed to failure from the very beginning.
Economist Prof. Barys Zhaliba spoke to charter97.org about Lukashenka's remark about successes of the Belarusian-Chinese car manufacturing project.
“Germans wanted to make Volkswagen cars popular among people and they did it. As for Belarus, we have calculations performed by car industry experts. All Belarusian projects with Ford and Iranian Samand failed. There are global standards and norms. If you want to be a global market player, you need to reach the minimum production rate, which is very high – at least one million car per year. If you increase production, you should count on the Russian market, because, theoretically, Russians can buy cars. The Belarusian market is too small, it needs only hundreds of cars,” the expert says.
The economist adds it's the reason why he doesn't see prospects for this project.
“Russians assemble cars of the world's famous brands. Their aim is to sell and export the cars they assemble. Russia doesn't like our attempts to manufacture any cars, including Chinese ones. It will do its bests not to give them access to its market. But they [cars] will scarcely be suitable for other markets,” Barys Zhaliba thinks.
The expert suggests that Belarus should do like Russia.
“It cooperates famous brands, assembles BMW and Japanese cars and gradually increases the localisation level, begins to produce more and more parts. This is the only good way. In the car industry, Belarusians should cooperate with German, Japanese and other famous brands rather than with China. Chinese and Iranian projects are ridiculous and hopeless,” Barys Zhaliba believes.
Aliaksandr Lukashenka, PM Mikhail Miasnikovich and head of the Minsk region executive committee Siamion Shapira discussed the implementation of the investment project on manufacturing cars in the Barysau district at a working meeting yesterday.
“Before we start, I can say that what many Belarusians and, above all, I have been dreaming about has come true,” the Belarusian dictator said. “We have made Belarusian cars together with our Chinese friends. According to my data, we sold roughly 2,500 cars last year. There is demand for this type of cars not only in Belarus but abroad, too.”
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