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22.09.2016 Lithuania's Viciunai Group drops plans to invest in Minsk

Viciunai, a leading Lithuanian food group that is owned byKaunas Mayor Visvaldas Matijosaitis, has dropped plans to build a large fishprocessing facility near Belarus' capital of Minsk, citing changes in thebusiness environment and the company's strategy as the reason, reportsLETA/BNS.

"The decision to abandon the status of a resident ofthe Minsk free economic zone (FEZ) was well thought-out and based on businesslogic," Mindaugas Snicorius, the group's spokesman, told.

"It had been years since plans to build a factory inBelarus were discussed.  Many changeshave occurred both in the business and in the world over these three years. Ourcurrent business strategy is primarily to reinforce production in our existingfactories," he said.

Belarus' news website has reported that Viciunai Bel,a Viciunai Group company that was to implement the project, has lost its MinskLEZ resident status due to a lack of activity on the part of the Lithuanians.

Matijosaitis said back in 2013 that he intended to move apart of production from the group's fish processing factory in Sovetsk, a townin the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, to Minsk. He planned to invest 4.5 mlneuros in the new production facility and another 2.7 mln euros in a logisticcenter.

Viciunai Group's 15 factories in Europe manufacture fish andother food products that are supplied to 58 markets around the world.

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