“One task of ACL is to make Belarus more attractive for all foreign carriers”
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Interview with Anatoly Molokovitch, Head of Logistics Department at the School of Business and Management of Technologies of Belarusian State University.
Recently the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, Mikhail Uladzimiravich Myasnikovich, signed a document confirming the participation of Belarus in the European Union’s Baltic Sea Region Program and within this the partaking of Belarusian institutes and companies in ACL. The “School of Business and Management of Technologies of Belarusian State University” is one of three Belarusian project partners. In this interview Anatoly Molokovitch, Head of the Logistics Department at the School, reports on the importance of the project for the Belarusian transport and logistics sector.
ACL: Mr. Molokovitch, why is a participation of Belarusian side in the EU-funded ACL-project important?
Molokovitch: The Republic of Belarus is situated in the heart of the European continent. Carriers are interested in cargo transports through the territory of Belarus, especially against the background of increasing cargo flows between Europe on the one side and Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, China on the other side. But there are certain inadequacies in the legislative sphere in our country concerning the export-import and transit operations. Therefore, one of the tasks of the project Amber Coast Logistics is to make the Republic of Belarus more attractive for all foreign carriers. ACL’s overall aim is to increase the accessibility of remote areas in the southern and eastern Baltic Sea region, especially in Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, by implementing multimodal logistics centres. Developing strategies for new transport corridors, informing carriers about the peculiarities of transport policies in east European countries as well as making recommendations to simplify customs procedures of border crossing are only some of the measures within ACL that are important for us.
ACL: Which aims would Belarus and all Belarusian partners like to achieve within the ACL-project?
Molokovitch: Our overall vision can be described as follows: A possible reorientation of major traffic flows from west to east Europe and north to south Europe through Belarus would cater for further development of the transport industry of Belarus, it would allow to create a modern infrastructure of roadside service along major transport corridors and to maintain them at a modern European level. A development like this would facilitate the creation of new jobs and provide growth of revenues in the transport market. Eventually, all this measures would contribute to the growth of the citizen standard of living, improve the public image of the Republic and promote its further involvement in European institutions.
ACL: Where do you see the most urgent need for action regarding the Belarusian logistics sector?
Molokovitch: The issues of logistics in Belarus attracted the attention of politicians just a few years ago. In 2008 the “Program of logistics system Development in Belarus up to 2015” has been adopted. First outcomes of this program are currently built or already operated logistics centers owned by “Belintertrans – transport-logistic center of the Belarusian Railway”, “Beltamogservice” and others. Belarus is still at the beginning of developing a logistics system. Currently more than 40 logistics centers are under construction. It is necessary to design an effective scheme that positions logistics centres strategically. It should give detailed information on required services of each of the centres according to the needs of the business sector. Also cooperation with the key players of the logistics market from western countries as well as with our partners in the Common Economic Space and the Ukraine should be considered. Only a holistic examination of problems will lead to sustainable and efficient operation of the logistics sector of Belarus.
ACL: How do you value the present government efforts to support the national logistics sector?
Molokovitch: The President of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the country pay great attention to the development of the logistics system in Belarus. President Alexander Lukashenko stresses the importance of logistics in the country, inviting for cooperation in this field with business representatives from Lithuania, Kazakhstan, China, Qatar and other interested parties. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, Michail Miasnikovitch, personally controls the development of the logistics system in the country, visiting construction places of logistics sector. Much attention to this issue is also paid from the side of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Commerce. Thus, the new Transport Minister Anatoly Sivak has formed a council for the effective development of transport in the country in October 2012. One of its main activities of is to enhance transport logistics cooperations between all transport modes, in order to develop multi-modal transportation systems. Furthermore, the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Belarus arranges the Annual Specialized Exhibition and Congress "Transport and Logistics", which is constantly increasing. For example, in 2008 the Exhibition was attended by more than 30 companies, in 2012 more than 100 companies from 12 countries attended the event. The question of scientific and practical development of logistics has a very high importance in Belarus and includes all stakeholders – from governmental to non-governmental structures.