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Austrian woodworking giant leaves Belarus

It became known that the Austrian-Cypriot woodworking giant Kronospan, which until recently was actively present in the Belarusian market, is finally leaving the country.

illustration photo \\
illustration photo \\

Legal entities, which owned Kronospan plants in Belarus, have completed rebranding. The enterprises in Smargon are now managed by Ultradecor, Ultradecor Properties and Ultradecor NT, in Vitsebsk - Ultrabuild, near Mahiliou - Ultrabuild Steel and Ultra Play OSB. Other local legal entities have also been renamed.

As Office Life found out, Kronospan's exit from the Belarusian business took place in early fall last year. Prior to that, the Austrians completed the process of transferring their assets in Russia to the same Causa Foundation. The foundation is registered in the UAE.

Kronospan entered the Belarusian market in the late 2000s and became the largest investor in local woodworking. Its enterprises produced wood boards, floor coverings, resins, varnishes, specialty paper, steel structures, etc. A significant part of the production was intended for export.

The total amount of Kronospan's investments in the Belarusian economy was estimated at about 1 billion euros.

Belarusian enterprises of Kronospan were included in the list of assets from unfriendly countries, which were banned for sale without the government's consent.

Belarusian enterprises of Kronospan were included in the list of assets from unfriendly countries banned for sale without governmental approval.

It is worth noting that political prisoners in Belarusian prisons are forced to work in wood processing, being subjected to physical and psychological abuse. In particular, they are engaged in wood processing and lumber, which is used in further production. It should be noted that the Swedish IKEA also announced its withdrawal from the Belarusian market in 2022.

The democratic community and representatives of independent trade unions have repeatedly raised the issue of the use of forced labor of prisoners.

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