21st century Manufacturing Arrives at Great Stone

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RuchTech, an American fibre laser manufacturer and a subsidiary of IPG Photonics Corporation, has set up in the Great Stone Industrial Park located on the outskirts of Belarus’ capital city of Minsk. Within the next two years the investor is planning on constructing a plant that will produce various types of laser equipment, both for industrial and medical purposes.

Vladimir Jarski, director of RuchTech, lists a number of reasons why IPG Photonics located their operations in Belarus.

“The key element was the possibility to optimise the cost of developing and manufacturing high-tech goods, which is provided by the industrial park by the way of a preferential tax regime, the availability of highly qualified engineering and manufacturing staff living nearby the park in Minsk, the unique geographical location of the Industrial Park on the Silk Road between Europe and Asia that makes logistics less expensive, the simplified customs regime for raw materials and the visa-free regime to visit Park site that is very important for an international corporation,” he tells Emerging Europe.

“This is a high-tech project,” says Kirill Koroteev, first deputy director at the Great Stone Industrial Park. “It will replace the mechanical cutting of materials with one using lasers, which is more efficient. This investment — in Belarus in general, and at Great Stone, in particular — is going to create a foundation for similar investments in the future. This includes the training of specialists and training on how to use the new production technologies of components and equipment, in order to have advanced innovative digital production of the 21st century,“ he adds.

The recent changes in the Park’s value proposition are expected to attract additional investors.

“Great Stone has become a real one-stop shop. Any administrative procedures can be implemented in the park and if the assistance of other state bodies is required, they come to the park. Additionally, no inspections are allowed without the permission of the park’s administration. Finally, a stabilisation clause will protect our future residents against any negative changes in the law, while the positive ones will still apply,” Mr Koroteev tells Emerging Europe.

Great Stone has also extended the sectors where it would like to attract investors.

“Currently, the park’s development is based on high-tech manufacturing in the spheres of mechanical engineering, electronics and telecommunication, fine chemistry, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, new materials, logistics, e-commerce and big data processing and logistics. We are also focused on innovative manufacture with high export potential,” says Mr Koroteev.

The level of investment can be reduced to $500,000 if you take responsibility to invest within three years. In addition, currency control regulation is not applied to the park’s residents anymore and they may enjoy a visa-free regime for up to 180 days of the year.

According to Kirill Koroteev, first deputy general director of Great Stone, RuchTech is the 15th resident in the Belarusian-Chinese Industrial Park.

Photo source: Great Stone Industrial Park

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