Analysing President’s address

24 April 2016

The Belarusian President has addressed the nation and the Parliament. The 2016 address was compact and clear. The President’s speech lasted for about 90 minutes. The most often used words in his speech were “year”, “country” and “man”. The word “man”, for example, was pronounced exactly 45 times, but the word “economy” was used 25 times in 1.5 hours. As predicted by experts, the economic unit was the most extensive in the President's speech.

Discussion of the social sphere took nearly a third of the address, with about 22% of the time paid to the foreign policy and defence. Another important thematic cluster was the personnel policy and state management, taking about 12% of the address. Approximately thirty times the President deviated from the written text to clarify or supplement it.

The event was attended by senior officials of the country, foreign diplomats, heads of the largest enterprises and media outlets and over 150 deputies and senators of the National Assembly.

The presidential speech consisted of 15 specific thematic units, the central ones being growth factors in the economy and tasks for the current year. Alexander Lukashenko placed a special emphasis on innovations and improving the education system and spoke in detail about the pension system, improving business environment, healthcare modernisation, his vision of the human resources policy and optimistic demographic tendencies.

Traditionally, coherent signals were made for Belarus’ foreign partners about the priorities of the Belarusian foreign policy. An important part of the address was dedicated to preserving peace and security in the country. The President’s speech was followed by a dialogue with deputies and senators, during which Alexander Lukashenko answered fifteen questions.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus: “One of the world’s largest investors, China, has opened a credit line of 8 billion dollars for Belarus. Special attention is required to develop cooperation with the IMF. The programme with the IMF is not a panacea, but an indicator of the openness of Belarus’ economy.

The World Bank’s portfolio of projects for Belarus is worth about 1 billion US dollars, 600 million of which are still not being used due to the inertia of the state agencies. By the end of the year these issues must be solved.

We need to create a product of the future with the highest value added.

Active work is underway to find new points of economic growth, which will result in a stable dynamics of its development.

The Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park is creating a platform for attracting high-tech and competitive projects. Severe measures, including personnel ones, have been taken to speed up the process.

As for the Belarusian nuclear power plant, we must take advantage of nuclear energy to form a cluster of energy-intensive enterprises around the NPP and increase the competitiveness of the whole economy.

A whole layer of companies that operate in the sphere of space exploration has been created.

New safe quality standards have been introduced in the production sphere.”

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