Time to take up your paintbrush

Belarusian manufacturers of paint materials prepare for WTO competition
By Svetlana Bunko

Domestic products prevail on Belarusian shelves when it comes to varnishes and paints, although various ‘ingredients’ are imported for our 50 local manufacturers. A further 20-30 deal with imports, which should become easier on Belarus joining the WTO, while our exports will face much stiffer competition. Already, most of the world’s powerful brands have representative offices in Belarus.

MAV is implementing a joint project with DuPont Transnational Research Company, explains MAV’s First Deputy Director, Vladimir Minko. He notes, “We anticipate the competition from joining the WTO so we aren’t simply waiting for the moment. We’re already getting ready to compete with Europe’s top brands. We really can compete with the best of them, if we work with the best.” The Belarusian manufacturer is to gain the right to place the logo of the international company on its products, which are to be tested at DuPont laboratories. Mr. Minko stresses that this shouldn’t lead to higher prices for MAV paints however.

DuPont spends over $2bn on research and development annually, with some to be spent on creating products with MAV. “We view the Belarusian market as developing; our growth strategy aims to give us a strong position on emerging markets,” emphasises Johan Van den Hemel, in charge of DuPont licensing and branding in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Belarusian specialists are keen to keep abreast of global trends, including the production of ‘eco’ goods, which are so popular in developed countries. Labelling of products meeting environmental requirements is not only good business sense but would help prevent low-quality products being sold on the Belarusian market. It makes sense to tighten quality requirements, to rid shelves of products containing harmful or dangerous ingredients. Belarus is already moving towards European standards, with quality certification a priority within the Customs Union.
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