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Flax and other fashion brands

According to various estimates, the light industry in Belarus accounts for about 28-30% of the total production of non-food goods. The largest enterprises of the industry are part of the “Bellegprom” concern and produce about 80% of the total industry volume. In general, there are about 500 light industry enterprises in the republic, producing over 5,000 product names.

The light industry of Belarus has a high level of export orientation. Over a number of years, the main drivers of export remain RUPTE “Orsha Flax Combine”, OJSC “Kamvol”, Grodno RUPE “Groniteks”, OJSC “Milavitsa”, OJSC “Komintern” and other enterprises.

Major segments of the industry and largest enterprises

The textile industry is estimated as the largest in production volume in light industry. The segment combines the production of all kinds of fabrics, knitwear, felting and other products. The largest enterprises in the textile industry are

  • UE “Baranovichi Cotton Production Association”,
  • OJSC “Lenta” (Mahileū),
  • OJSC “Kamvol”,
  • OJSC “Sukno” (Minsk),
  • RUPTE “Orsha Flax Combine”,
  • OJSC “Mogoteks” (Mahileū),
  • OJSC “Svitanak” (Salihorsk),
  • OJSC “Vitebsk Carpets”,
  • OJSC “Kim” (Viciebsk) and others.

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The main products of these companies are fabrics, yarn, curtains, etc.

The knitting industry focuses on the production of knitwear, knitted fabric, hosiery and other products. Specialized enterprises in this segment

  • OJSC “Brest Stocking Combine”
  • RUPE “Baranovichi Knitting Factory”
  • OJSC “Soligorsk Knitting Enterprise “Kupalinka”.

Belarusian knitwear of such brands as “Polesie”, “Alesya”, “8 Marta”, “Svitanak” is widely known.

The sewing sphere of the light industry includes about 170 plants. Among the biggest are the sewing factories:

  • OJSC “Komintern” in Homel,
  • “Znamya industrializacii” in Viciebsk,
  • JV CJSC “Milavitsa” and OJSC “Progress” in Minsk,
  • CJSC “Vesnyanka” in Mahileū.

The main activity of these enterprises is sewing suits and outerwear, children’s clothing, underwear, hats and fur items. The largest sewing factories in Belarus have a “portfolio” of export brands which are exported not only within the CIS, but also to Great Britain, Denmark, Poland, USA, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic.

The shoe sphere of the light industry includes about 20 enterprises. The most famous Belarusian shoe brands are:

  • “Belwest”,
  • “Marko”,
  • “Sivelga”,
  • “Le Grand”,
  • “Neman”.

The main producers of children’s shoes are: OJSC “Lida Shoe Factory”, OJSC “Obuv” in Minsk, OJSC “Krasnyi Oktyabr”.

Today the Belarusian shoe industry resolves a whole range of problems, the most important of which is the competitive ability against the backdrop of import. In this regard, enterprises aim to improve the quality of raw materials and reduce the level of import capacity. The Belarusian shoe market requires new approaches: the development of local brands, the expansion of the model lineup, the activation of the marketing policy.

Investments

At this stage, the Belarusian light industry is going through a period of modernization: a range of key enterprises are investing in the replacement of production equipment with the prospect of releasing more competitive products. An active search for investors for re-equipping plants, updating the marketing policy, working on the image of the product is being carried out. All these measures are necessary amidst fierce competition of Belarusian goods with import from Turkey and China.

In 2012, it was planned to invest 36 million US dollars in foreign direct investments on a net basis to the light industry. Knitting enterprises are considered to be one of the most promising areas for investment. OJSC “Kamvol” and “Orsha Flax Combine” are considered as objects of investment. Turkish, Chinese and European investors are already showing interest in the re-equipment of enterprises. The strength of the Belarusian light industry in attracting foreign investments is the good raw materials base, as well as cheap labor force.