Belarus was one of the top textile producers among all Soviet republics in terms of volume. Today, 300 Belarusian enterprises operate in sewing, knitting, wool and cotton industries, and textiles account for around 4% in the total volume of Belarusian industrial production.
Most of the Belarusian companies are state-owned and belong to the Bellegprom Concern (over 70% of the sectoral output), but the number of private companies grows. Co-operation with foreign businesses:
20 joint-ventures with foreign capital (from Italy, Ireland, Poland, Russia, Turkey, UK...) currently operate in Belarus.
Many business partnerships are established between foreign and Belarusian companies which meet high quality standard of production.
Business opportunities include investment (joint-ventures), subcontracting and other types of business partnerships for export-oriented production in Belarus and to a lesser extent for the local market:
Joint-ventures: modernisation of facilities, introduction of new design, branding and marketing methods for the development of clothing production (especially men’s clothing), furs, skins, leather goods and shoes, synthetic fibbers, yarn and knitted products;
Subcontracting: apparel and textiles outsourcing, fast fashion.
Export destinations are mainly Russia and CIS countries, but also EU countries: quotas on Belarusian textile exports to the EU were abolished in 2009.
Some success stories
Cagi Maglierie (Italy) teamed up with Milavitsa (Belarus) to establish a joint-venture in 1994, named Gimil. Gimil focused on orders of its Italian parent company for about 10 years, before developing its own knitwear production. It is a very profitable company with an annual turnover now reaching EUR 2 million.
Adidas (Germany), a leading global sportswear brand, signed a contract with Bobruisk-based garment firm Slavyanka in 2010. Slavyanka also collaborated with famous brands such as fashion designer Sonia Rykiel (France).
Milavitsa (Belarus) was founded in 1992 in the course of privatisation of a state-owned sewing factory. It is engaged in the production of lingerie, as well as wholesale and retail sales in foreign countries (CIS mainly). In 2001, EBRD and Iluna Group (Italy) joined in the capital to accelerate its development. In 2006, it was bought by Silvano Fashion Group (Estonia), which shareholders include Italian Iluna Group. Milavitsa is now one of the largest lingerie producers in Europe. Its production is certified in compliance with the ISO 9001 standards and is sold in Belarus, in European countries, Turkey, Russia and CIS countries.
Kamvol (Belarus) is one of the major companies manufacturing all-wool and half-woolen fabrics for costumes and dresses in the CIS countries. Its products are exported to Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Moldova, Czech Republic, Italy, USA, Poland, etc. De Textile (Turkey) won a contract to set up a new production line of worsted fabric at Kamvol: it will supply equipments and obtain a line of bank credit. Kamvol is now looking for foreign partners to develop its activities.
Useful links and contacts
National Agency of Investment and Privatization (NAIP)
Official website of Belarus