The basis of the social complex (IC) is made up of industries that meet the needs of the population in goods and services.
The largest branch of production of consumer goods is light industry. It has about 490 enterprises (almost 20% of all industrial enterprises on an independent balance sheet), which account for over 8.6% of all industrial output. It has a leading place in the production of consumer goods (about 1/5). A characteristic feature of light industry is that among all industries it has the highest proportion of products manufactured at non-state enterprises – 85-90%. The development of light industry has some features. Firstly, its products directly affect the standard of living of people, which means that the location of enterprises is focused mainly on the consumer. Secondly, the industry is quite labor-intensive, it employs mainly women. Thirdly, it is characterized by a low level of industry concentration, enterprises are not water-intensive. At the same time, there are a number of favorable conditions for their development: the availability of its own raw material base (Belarus occupies one of the leading places in the world for the production of flax fiber, animal husbandry provides raw materials to leather and footwear enterprises, the production of chemical fibers provides a sufficient amount of raw materials for the textile industry); provision of highly qualified personnel; stable capacious domestic and foreign markets for products.
Depending on the features of the location, all branches of light industry can be divided into 3 groups: 1) branches of primary processing of raw materials supplied by agriculture (wool, linen, leather); when locating enterprises, they focus on raw materials; 2) textile industry (includes woolen, linen); focuses on both raw materials and consumers; 3) clothing and footwear industry; focus on the consumer.
Light industry enterprises are located everywhere. At the same time, there is a differentiation in the production of certain types of products. In the Vitebsk region, for example, about 32.5% of all shoes are produced, in Brest – 60% of carpets and 68% of hosiery, in Minsk – 75% of linen knitwear (Table 8.14).
Table 8.14 Resource requirements
Production of light industry products
Belarus as of 1.01.2001, [2, p.255]
Hosiery, thousand pairs
Knitwear, mln. pcs.
Carpets and carpet products, thousand m2
Shoes, million pairs
of all kinds, mln.pog.m
woolen, thousand pog.m
silk, thousand meters
Republic of Belarus
The textile industry is a leading branch of light industry. It has more than 100 enterprises. A special place belongs to the woolen, linen, cotton, silk industries. In Minsk, Grodno produce fine cloth, harsh fabrics of various assortments; in Brest, Vitebsk – carpets; in Orsha – linen cloth, towels, tablecloths and other products. Silk fabrics are produced in Vitebsk, Mogilev, cotton – in Baranovichi, Mogilev. Belarus mainly satisfies its demand for linen, partly for silk fabrics, but is forced to import cotton and a significant amount of cotton fabrics. It should be noted that almost 4/5 of all fabrics of the republic fall on the enterprises of Gomel, Mogilev and Vitebsk regions.