Šalčininkai needs to make use of its geographical position – PM

Šalčininkai

Lithuania's Šalčininkai District, densely populated by Poles, needs to make use of its good geographical position and local forests, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius says.

"Speaking about Šalčininkai District, your geographical position is the value of gold because of its closeness to the capital. It's possible to make use of the infrastructure in big cities. My wish and suggestion would be to halt a bit that development of infrastructure in major cities and move it to regions and create jobs there. Šalčininkai is also one of the most forested districts, so it would be possible to direct that development towards the production of biofuel," the prime minister told a conference taking place in Šalčininkai on Tuesday.

Economy Minister Evaldas Gustas believes Šalčininkai District needs to use the local potential, promote development in the tourism sector and job creation as well as promote entrepreneurship.

"The abundance of forests in the region is one of the strong sides, so, perhaps, you have potential to grow in this area, promote timber industry, furniture production as well as the metal processing and food production sectors. You are in a well-positioned region between Vilnius and Belarus, therefore, you can become a logistics centre in this region," the minister said.

Registered unemployment in Šalčininkai and Vilnius Districts exceeds the national average by 1.2 percent, every second unemployed person does not have professional education, around 7 percent don't have working experience and almost every third has lost working skills.

Figures from the 2011 census show Poles make 77.8 percent and Lithuanians make 10.8 percent of Šalčininkai's population.

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