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Belarusian info Panorama

Окт 18, 2017
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DRIVE A 220-TON BELAZ TRUCK!
BelAZ, the world’s biggest producer of dump trucks, is launching a special industrial tour. Visitors to the plant can test what it feels to ride a 6-meter mining dump truck with a capacity of 220 tons.
Before the ride, tourists will be allowed to master basic driving skills using a special simulator. It can reproduce a real road in 7D, right down to the weather.
The price of such tour is 80 Br (~$40). You can also can get a special certificate confirming that you drove the heavy truck. Visitors will be able to see how these 220-ton trucks, which are as tall as a three-story house, are being produced.
More than 36,000 people from 27 countries have already visited BelAZ industrial tours in the last two years.

BELARUS RETURNS TO THE BOND MARKET
Belarus has released two tranches of Eurobonds in the amount of $800 million and $600 million, respectively, Reuters reported, citing a source in financial circles.
The country marketed benchmark notes due February 2023 at a yield of 7.125 %, and benchmark notes due June 2027 at a yield of 7.625%. Aggregate demand from investors exceeded 3.1 billion dollars.
Belarus had hired Citi and Raiffeisen Bank International for a roadshow in the US and Europe.
In 2016, the Minister of Finance, Vladimir Amarin, had cited plans to attract up to $1 billion from Eurobonds. Belarus is returning to the international bond market after a long hiatus. In January 2011, Belarus floated $800 million worth of Eurobonds with a coupon rate of 8.95% per annum, the only circulating issue of Eurobonds by Belarus. In July 2015, the Ministry of Finance repaid $1 billion for the debut Eurobonds floated in 2010.
A NEW MEDICAL TOURISM PARADISE
Citizens of 128 countries have so far visited Belarus to take advantage of its medical care, BelTA reports, citing the Healthcare Ministry of Belarus. Foreigners are most interested in cardio, neuro and intravascular surgery, endoscopic operations, endoprosthesis replacement and treatment of oncological diseases.
Other popular services provided by Belarus to foreigners are dentistry, ophthalmology, reproductive healthcare, diagnostics, preventive treatment, and rehabilitation.
Belarus is leading in the post-Soviet space and is ahead of many European countries in the number of organ transplants per 1 million people, the Ministry said.
The country carries out 50 transplant surgeries per 1 million people (the European average is 55.9). The availability of open- heart surgeries has reached 360 per 1 million people.
Earlier, the ministry had reported that over 150,000 foreigners used medical services in Belarus in 2016.

BELARUSIAN COOKIES COMING TO WALMART
The Belarusian confectionery producer Slodych plans to sell its cookies in U.S. stores, said First Deputy Chairman of the Belgospishcheprom concern Igor Shustov during the international agricultural expo Belagro 2017 in Minsk. “We have met with Walmart’s representatives and plan to produce an exclusive lineup of biscuits for the U.S. market,” Mr. Shustov noted. Belgospishcheprom companies have also redoubled their efforts to enter the Chinese market. Today
Belgospishcheprom companies are selling their delicious products in 60 countries.
NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY
A project to build a repository for nuclear waste from the Belarusian nuclear power plant is now under development, the Ministry of Energy reported.
The project to store the radioactive waste (except high-level waste) generated during the operation and decommissioning of the Belarusian NPP is in the blueprint phase.
Specialists are carrying out the research necessary for the construction of the repository. Recommendations for the creation of a system of protective barriers to ensure the safe disposal of nuclear waste have been made.
Radioactive waste will be stored in a special building on the territory of the plant. The project envisages the storage of radioactive waste for up to 10 years.
After the stipulated period, there are two options: either to expand the capabilities of the repository or to transport the waste to a special storage facility.
The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built 18 kilometers from Astravets in the Grodno region, which is 50 kilometers from the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. The commissioning of the first power-generating unit is scheduled for 2019, of the second one – for 2020.

NIGHT-TIME BUTTERFLIES FLOOD VITEBSK
Late in the evening on July 17, the residents of Vitebsk witnessed an interesting natural phenomenon – millions of white butterflies. This night-time butterfly is called dayfly, so called because it only lives a day or two. Its larva spends two to three years in freshwater before becoming an adult. The butterflies normally
come out en masse, and always in the evening.
The last time people in Vitebsk saw dayflies was in 2010 when
they emerged in a huge cloud from the River Dvina.
SIDEWALKS MADE FROM GARBAGE
The garbage-sorting plant in the town of Grodno has started making sidewalk tiles from waste.
A production line was installed recently at the plant to make polymeric sand products. The raw materials it uses are sand and various items of plastic garbage – polymers, which previously were simply buried in the ground.
Each day the plant receives about 220 tons of plastic. Besides sidewalk tiles, Grodno also plans to use garbage to make manhole covers, drain pipes, curbs, fences for “green” parking lots, and siding.

MINSK NAMED ONE OF THE CHEAPEST CITIES FOR EXPATS GLOBALLY
If you are thinking of relocating soon, you might want to consider the capital of Belarus, as Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey has found Minsk to be one of the cheapest locations for working abroad.
A new list of the most and least expensive cities in the world includes 209 cities across five continents.
The priciest city in the index, driven by the cost of goods and security, is Luanda in Angola, knocking into second place Hong Kong, which was first last year.
Asian and European countries were found to have the most expensive cities, with Hong Kong followed by Tokyo, Zurich, and Singapore respectively.
In its turn, Minsk has topped the list of the 10 least expensive locations. The Belarusian capital ranks 200th.
Minsk is also cheaper than the neighboring capitals. For example, Riga is ranked 126, Kiev is 163, followed by Vilnius at 167 and Warsaw at 180.
We don’t recommend looking at Russia at all, since its two principal cities both rank in the Top 50 most expensive locations. As a matter of fact, Moscow (14) and St. Petersburg (36) surged fifty-three and one hundred and sixteen places from last year respectively, due to the strong appreciation of the ruble against
the US dollar and the cost of goods and services.
The rankings of the costliest and cheapest cities come
from Mercer’s annual Cost of Living survey, designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.
New York is used as the base city and all cities are compared against it. Currency movements are measured against the US dollar.
The study measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

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