Belarus: partnership mooted with ATEC

Belarus president Alyaksandr Lukashenka has ordered the government to consider the possibility of entering into partnership with Austria“s ATEC Holding GmbH to make sodium carbonate. The government s…

Belarus president Alyaksandr Lukashenka has ordered the government to consider the possibility of entering into partnership with Austria“s ATEC Holding GmbH to make sodium carbonate. The government should commence work immediately and spend no more than six months studying the project, the presidential press office quoted Mr. Lukashenka as saying during a government conference on the development of the glass industry, which was held in Homyel on 3 October 2008. Despite its high cost, the project is likely to prove extremely lucrative since sodium carbonate has many applications outside glass manufacturing and demand for it increases yearly, according to reports delivered at the conference. The venture may turn Belarus from an importer into an exporter of sodium carbonate and fully supply the country“s needs, the reports said. ATEC Holding GmbH has earned a good reputation in Belarus, investing USD 100 million in its economy since it entered the market six years ago, Mr. Lukashenka said. The company holds controlling stakes in ZAT Shklozavod Yalizava, a glass manufacturer located near Asipovichy, Mahilyow region; ZAT Belyewratara, a packaging company in Lida, Hrodna region; and the Motavela bicycle company. ATEC Holding GmbH is part of the ATEC Group, which controls 30 manufacturing, services and trading enterprises in Austria, Russia and Belarus.