State to monopolize alcohol market


The state will get an exclusive right for import of alcoholic beverages starting from the New Year. All quotas for alcohol import will be cancelled. Who will be allowed to import alcohol in our country? All the 34 Belarusian enterprises importing alcohol are worried about the issue. And many of them are far from being optimistic. Thus, the “Niksof” company thinks that their enterprise will not be included on the list of special importers:

“Niksof”’s employee: “I think that it will influence our work dramatically if there are only one or two special importers. We will simply lose our jobs. The situation is our country is like that, you can be successful today and go bankrupt tomorrow. So nobody knows what it will be like. We are all thinking about it, we are worrying and waiting”.

There are not many chances for “Oshten” to stay on the market of alcoholic beverages either, thinks one of its representatives:

An employee of “Oshten”: “It is not good news for us. There are very few chances to remain on the market. So we are not at all happy”.

It is easy to understand the reaction of current importers. It is not the first time a market is monopolized by the state in Belarus. The same thing happened to cigarettes and fish.

The head foodstuffs department of the Ministry of Trade Lyubou Yazepchyk thinks that the fact that the number of importers of alcoholic beverages will decrease will not influence the price of alcohol. It cannot be that only one importer will remain:

“The geography of our import is very diverse. We should provide the market with products from different countries”.

An economist Alyaksandr Patupa thinks that the price of alcohol will rise significantly as soon as the state monopoly is introduced. There are objective reasons for it:

“I think that prices will rise by 50%. First of all, raw staffs are getting more expensive. Second, the state wants to compensate for the losses on the market of energy carriers. The alcohol market has always been very profitable for the budget. So they will probably try to compensate for the losses with its help. Everything may be decided after the negotiations about energy carriers take place”.

However, the official reason why quotas should be cancelled and the institute of a special importer should be introduced is different. The deputy Minister of Trade Vyachaslau Drahun claimed that “a transparent” channel of alcohol supplies will help customers avoid buying fake products.

But Alyaksandr Patupa has found one more simple explanation:

“When snacks grow expensive drinks must grow expensive too”.

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