The deputy prime minister is confident that the devaluation wouldn't have happened if the Belarusians had not been buying imported goods.
Deputy PM Piotr Prakapovich said it to journalists during his visit to garment manufacturer Panda in Brest as part of a meeting of the Council on Small Business Development in Belarus. The deputy PM said the import share continued growing. In particular, it was 10-15% 10 years ago, and increased to 30% in 2013, BelTA reports.
“We can produce the rest. With a better quality and at a good price,” Piotr Prakapovich said.
According to him, the light industry is promising having unlimited opportunities for business. Piotr Prakapovich thinks if the money that the Belarusians put in other countries' economies preferring to buy imported goods were spent inside the country, “we wouldn't have problems at all”.
“Firstly, personal income would grow faster. Secondly, we would have enough foreign currency to have several billions of dollars of surplus. The ruble wouldn't be devalued, it would grow constantly and become one of the most stable currencies,” Piotr Prakapovich said. “So, encouraging the import, we worsen our living standards by losing jobs and taxes.”
He added in this regard that the task of domestic manufacturers was to restore their positions in the home market effectively and quickly. Belarus will have more opportunities to increase exports if it gains a foothold in the domestic market.
“The task is to fulfill the order of the head of state to all government bodies, enterprises and business, namely to protect our market, to develop it, to make it able to meet the country's needs and increase exports,” the Belarusian deputy PM said, adding that Belarus's specialty always was goods for people (food, light industry and household goods). But people should work more actively, he thinks.