LCD TV sets Vityas and Gorizont to be protected from foreigners

The Byelorussian Ministry on taxes and receipts intends to broaden the list of goods for import to be marked since November, 1st 2007. TV sets are also included into the list. Marking introduction, according to the given ministry, will help protect the domestic producers' interests, producing LCD and plasma TV sets.

Byelorussia has already introduced HT devices marking. At present the marks are stuck by legal importers on handset boxes. According to market participants' estimates, in particular, Euroset Byelorussian subsidiary, the state measure to legalize the handset market produced the opposite effect. According to Ales Mukhin, the subsidiary director, the check introduction together with prohibition to stick them along the Byelorussian state border resulted in final price for legal devices to go up by 15%.

The pride includes the marks themselves, foreign stores renting, and foreign workers hiring to stick the given marks. Finally the cost of a legal handset is absolutely not compatible. According to official data, the share of illegal handsets in Byelorussia at present amounts to about 90%. That is why the new state measure to 'protect the domestic manufacture' is opposed by the many.

Unlike the handset market, there is someone to be protected in the Byelorussian TV set market. The state enterprises OJSC Gorizont and the Republican Unitary Enterprise Vityas, also manufacturing plasma and LCD TV sets, meet with stiff competition on the part of Korean manufacturers in the domestic market. The main domestic product users are still the state enterprises.

Byelorussian TV sets are used only in state institutions at present

However, marketing introduction, according to market participants, might not significantly change the market. 'With marking introduction we will simply receive additional difficulties to import TV sets resulting in slight delays in deliveries. That is not to seriously affect the customer price, as the price for each TV set is to go up by $5-10. If a subscriber has $2000 for Sony new model, then he will not notice the mentioned rise in prices, - one of the largest Byelorussian TV set importers' representative says. - The given measure will not protect the domestic manufacturers, as we are not their competitors either in price (Byelorussian goods are much cheaper, - editorial note), or in quality. They are to continue competing between themselves both in the LCD TV set market and in the state sector. Although the volume of illegal deliveries might go up. TV sets are not handsets. They are difficult to hide when passing through the customs, and are more expensive. So the number of those, importing them illegally, might go down'.

A TV set plant, called Vityas, was founded in Vitebsk, Belarus on March 3, 1976. By 2003, the Republican Unitary Enterprise (RUE) Vityas has been producing more then 30 models of TV sets, with screen diagonal 14 to 29 inches (34 to 72 sm.). The distinctive features of these TV sets were the unified mono chassis, 90 to 100 channels, menu system, user's timer, the protection of selected program from non-authorized watching.

GORIZONT Joint Stock Company founded in 1950 is the biggest TV manufacturer both in the Republic of Belarus and in C.I.S countries. The plant produces LCD monitors, LED displays, DVD players, and air conditions