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NAIP assists Kinglet with a new project in biodegradable packaging

12 June 2020

Production of ecologically safe packaging materials today plays an increasingly important role in the efforts to minimize economic impact on the environment. We talked to Mr. Alexey Drapeza, a representative of Kinglet group of companies in Belarus, which is implementing the first project of biodegradable packaging manufacturing in our country.

- Could you please tell us about Kinglet group of companies and its unique project in Belarus on production of biodegradable packaging?

- Over the recent 20 years, Kinglet group of companies has been developing and producing different types of modern packaging for major retail chains in Belarus, Russia, Lithuania and Moldova. Production of ecologically safe packaging is one of our business’s development priorities for the nearest future.

In 2019 we partly re-equipped capacities of our production site in the town of Logoisk for biodegradable wraps and bags, and this experiment was successful. Then in March 2020 we registered BioKinglet, our new company in the Industrial Park “Great Stone”, what has kick-started our work on the launch of a new production of biodegradable and compostable packaging and eco-friendly tableware in partnership with Novamont – world leader in bioplastics and biochemicals.

This year we have also become Novamont’s official distributor of biodegradable raw material Mater-Bi in Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. This biopolymer made of corn flour and polysaccharides is unique for its ability to completely biodegrade in the environment due to physical factors and microorganisms. The products manufactured of this material (certified according to the relevant European standards) are on a par with equivalent plastic goods in functionality and possess aesthetic design and pleasant flavor.

In the future, we are planning to arrange our own production of similar raw materials in the framework of the technological support agreement signed with our Italian partners.

- Would you please share your thoughts on Kinglet experience in collaboration with the National Agency of Investment and Privatization? Why do you think companies eager to invest in Belarus should employ the free-of-charge services provided by NAIP?

- Frankly, when we first reached out to NAIP late last year with a request to help arrange meetings for us and our partners from Italy (Novamont and ARS Ambiente Srl) and Norway (BioBag International AS) with specialists of the Belarusian relevant public authorities, we did not expect to receive that high level of professional informational and organizational support within a very short timeframe. We were especially impressed by the NAIP expertise in this quite novel, not only for Belarus, but also the entire world, sphere of ecologically safe packaging production.

We and our foreign partners are very satisfied with the results of the meetings with representatives of several ministries and public entities, Industrial Park “Great Stone”, Operator of Secondary Material Resources, organized by NAIP in the Agency’s premises. Kinglet also appreciated NAIP profound consultative assistance – just within a month from the very first discussion, its experts developed an investment attraction strategy for our future biodegradable production site, as well as prepared necessary informational materials designed for investors and a list of potentially interested foreign companies.

Before the restrictions amid COVID-19 were introduced outside Belarus, we had held a meeting with a possible investor. Other potential investors had to postpone their scheduled visits to Belarus. We are now looking forward to the resumption of the international trips to continue our purposeful work with potential investors during the visits to the production sites.

We are very pleased that NAIP, even though it already rendered all the currently necessary assistance, remains involved in our work on the investment project. Thus, I would like to emphasize that our experience has convinced us that National Agency of Investment and Privatization today is an important and valuable partner for businesses. NAIP experts are true professionals practically implementing responsible and prompt approach and, what is key, determination to achieve concrete results.

- Proceeding from Kinglet’s practical activity experience in Belarus, what would be your recommendations for potential foreign and local investors considering investing in Belarus? What do you think are the main advantages of the investment climate in Belarus?

- We are confident that both foreign and Belarusian companies with low investment experience in Belarus are better to start with the support of NAIP experts who will consult on the opportunities available within various preferential regimes and legal aspects for investments in our country, assist in preparation of diverse documents, arrange required meetings with public authorities and accompany through all the stages of investment activity.

As for the national investment climate, we believe there are multiple advantages, particularly Belarus’s central location between major EU and EAEU markets, well-thought-out tax and customs incentives, high qualification of local specialists and still acceptable level of competition which creates pre-conditions for accelerated development.

Today we see great opportunities in Belarus to further expand business and are optimistic about our plans for the future.

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