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Business case studies in Belarus

MAZ-MAN trucks
MAZ-MAN trucks

International companies that successfully operate in Belarus

Foreign investment in Belarus increased 13-fold in 2002-2010 while the volume of foreign trade quadrupled.

In 2015 foreign investors poured $11.3 billion into the real sector of the Belarusian economy (except for banks). The main investors were partners from Russia, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Cyprus, Austria, and China. The largest sums were invested into Minsk-based corporations 74% of the total investment volume.

At present Belarus exports about 55% of the merchandise the country makes.

Several examples of successful business operations

Coca-Cola

The manufacturing enterprise Coca-Cola Beverages Belarus is one of the country’s largest companies that have been established with assistance of foreign investments.

Coca-Cola entered the Belarusian market in 1994. In July 1997 it opened its first modern production facility in the town of Kolyadichi, Minsk Oblast.

Since then, Coca-Cola has expanded and now has seven distribution hubs in Minsk, the oblast capitals, Baranovichi and Bobruisk in addition to a number of representative offices in the regions and modern infrastructure for selling the merchandise.

Coca-Cola Beverages Belarus has won a number of awards including:

  • Coca-Cola Company President Award for excellence in quality management and environmental protection (2005)
  • Best Entrepreneur of the Year in Belarus (laureate in 2006, food industry winner in 2011)
  • Belarus’ Product of the Year Coca-Cola and Bon Aqua (2008)

Coca-Cola is represented on the Belarusian market in a number of ways:

  • More than 70% of the company’s partners and suppliers are Belarusian companies.
  • Two thirds of the materials used in manufacturing are bought in Belarus.
  • For every Coca-Cola employee in Belarus more than ten people are employed to supply raw materials and render services.

The company makes beverages with internationally recognized brands in Belarus. Apart from that, since 2001 the company has been offering the FrukTime lineup – quality beverages at an affordable price.

Coca-Cola is also involved in community projects in Belarus including:

  • Sponsorship of the festival Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk.
  • Investment of more than 2.6 million USD in the construction of an electric power substation in Minsk in 2002.
  • Sponsorship of orphanages, medical institutions and NGOs.
  • Sponsorship of local sport events and organizations, including the National Olympic Committee (since 1994), the national rhythmic gymnastics team (since 2006).
  • Support for environmental protection projects.

MAZ-MAN

MAZ-MAN is a Belarusian-German joint venture, a major manufacturer of large-capacity European-quality trucks for regional and international transportation, construction vehicles and special vehicles, and BME frontal loaders.

The enterprise was established in December 1997. The first MAZ-MAZ vehicle was assembled in April 1998.

The MAZ-MAN company combines:

  • the modern technology of its German partner (MAN in Munich)
  • the experience, manufacturing capacity, and innovations of its Belarusian producer (MAZ in Minsk)

At present MAZ-MAN can make up to 1,000 vehicles per annum and employs over 300 people.

Belarus-made MAZ-MAN vehicles meet all the existing and prospective requirements of European rules and directives, including the UNECE’s emission and noise standards ranging from Euro 3 to Euro 5.

Since 2006 apart from large-capacity trucks the company has been making a lineup of frontal loaders for various industries, including agriculture, construction operations, utilities industry, operations inside the confined space of warehouses and greenhouses and so on.

In 2014 MAZ-MAN started manufacturing an off-road vehicle capable of crossing difficult terrains such as tundra, sand, swamps and virgin snow. The vehicle can also cross water barriers.

Heineken Breweries

In 2004 Syabar Brewery was established in Bobruisk as an American-Belarusian enterprise. The enterprise used premises of an existing brewery. It was the first investment project in Belarus to be completed with assistance of the International Financial Corporation (IFC). The enterprise has become one of the country’s top beer manufacturers.

In December 2007 Syabar Brewery became part of the Dutch concern Heineken N.V. As part of the campaign to renew manufacturing facilities in 2008 the company fully modernized the lager fermentation room, commissioned a new PET bottling line, new tanks to store ready-made beer, a boiler room, a system to recuperate CO2 emissions… In October 2010 Syabar Brewery was renamed IZAO Heineken Breweries.

At present the Bobruisk-based enterprise uses state-of-the-art equipment. Its brewery is capable of making 1.5 million hectoliters of beer and kvass per annum.

Heineken’s division in Belarus offers 12 brands, which represent famous licensed and Belarusian beer brands as well as the natural-fermentation kvass Khatni (since 2008).

The manufacturing process uses locally supplied raw materials as much as possible: barley, malt, sugar, PET preforms, glass bottles, and paper labels. Since 2008 the program on growing high-quality brewer’s barley in Belarus has been in progress.

The company accounts for about 20% of Belarus’ beer market and about 25% of the country’s kvass market (2014).

Other foreign investment projects in Belarus

The number of projects including foreign investments is on the rise in Belarus.

The successful projects also include:

  • OAO Stadler Minsk is a Belarusian-Swiss joint venture that makes electric transport for cities and for railways (Belkommunmash and Stadler Rail AG).
  • SZAO BelGee is a Belarusian-Chinese joint venture that makes cars.
  • SZAO SNA Europe Industries Bisov is a Belarusian-Swiss-American joint venture that makes steel instruments.
  • SOOO Mobile TeleSystems is a Belarusian-Russian telecommunications company.
  • Santa Impex Brest OOO is a Belarusian-German trading company. Its daughter enterprise Santa Bremor is one of the largest food manufacturers in Eastern Europe, an internationally recognized brand of ready-made fish foods and sea foods.
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