The largest centers are Pinsk, Zhodino, Soligorsk, Vitebsk, Gomel, Minsk. The footwear industry is also developing on local raw materials. The largest enterprises are located in Grodno, Minsk, Lida, Bobruisk. In Vitebsk, there is a joint venture with the German company “Scamander” for the production of shoes. The share of Vitebsk and Grodno regions accounts for about 60% of the total production of shoes.
Light industry imports 100% cotton, 75% wool, 23% chemical fibers and threads. In this regard, the priority directions of the current development of light industry are the following: expansion of production of goods from non-traditional (artificial) raw materials, deepening the processing of resources taking into account their quality, the development of small enterprises. Recently, the decline in production in light industry has been stopped, there has been a noticeable increase in output.
One of the problems in the development of light industry is denationalization and privatization, demonopolization of production. In the meantime, almost 100% of linen, woolen fabrics, artificial fur on a knitted basis, men’s coats, corset and other products are produced by state-owned monopolist enterprises. These are Baranovichi Production Association (91.4% of cotton fabrics), Mogilev Silk Fabric Rental Enterprise (more than 70% of silk fabrics). They also dictate the policy of prices in the market of their goods.
A difficult problem for light industry remains the underutilization of production capacities and a high degree of depreciation of fixed production assets. Thus, the level of capacity utilization in 2000 in the production of cotton fabrics and shoes was slightly more than 50%, woolen fabrics – about 25%. Depreciation of fixed production assets in the industry as a whole reached 57%, and in the textile industry – 60%. Under these conditions, most enterprises of the industry (especially sewing and shoe enterprises of the Bellegprom concern) began to focus on production and technological cooperation with various firms of foreign countries (USA, England, Germany, France, etc.).
Prospects for the development of light industry largely depend on the conditions and results of competition in the domestic market of domestic and imported producers.