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The first ‘Belarus Days’ ever to take place in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia were held recently at REMONDIS’ Lippe Plant. The lifting of economic sanctions on Belarus three years ago has triggered a dynamic development in the economic relations between Germany and Belarus. The country is now once again being seen as an interesting business location – with an ever growing number of German businesses recognising its potential and investing in its market. Both the increasing volumes of German exports and the country’s ideal position, situated between the EU and Russia, are paving the way for further successful cooperation projects.
Egbert Tölle, board member of REMONDIS SE & Co. KG, welcomed around 60 business leaders and politicians from Belarus and Germany to the Lippe Plant in Lünen as part of a special two-day conference. REMONDIS was one of the organisers of the event alongside the OAOEV [German Eastern Business Association], the Deutsch-Belarussischer Unternehmerrat [German Belarusian business council], the Belarusian Embassy in Germany and the Dortmund Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
60 business leaders and politicians from Belarus and Germany visited the Lippe Plant in Lünen
The joint venture between REMONDIS and the City of Minsk, which was established back in 2010, is a good example of the country’s determination to improve its ecological footprint – moving away from simply landfilling waste towards a more resource and environmentally friendly system of recovering and recycling materials. “It’s given us great pleasure to be able to offer our extensive recycling services to the one million or so people living in the capital Minsk for almost a decade now. Significant progress has been made during this time both in conserving natural resources and helping to curb climate change,” Egbert Tölle said during his welcome speech.
Denis Sidorenko, Belarusian Ambassador to Germany, also took the time to praise German-Belarusian business relations such as this joint venture and to stress the importance of the ‘Belarus Days’ event, seeing it as a milestone for new collaboration opportunities. Indeed, it has already paved the way for new projects. REMONDIS has been commissioned with the task of setting up a modern waste management system in Soligorsk to increase recycling rates and reduce the volumes of material being sent to landfill. This project will include building treatment plants for bulky waste, organic waste and construction waste as well as modernising the town’s current sorting facility.
Other plans involve establishing a nationwide deposit return scheme for single-use drinks bottles and cans in Belarus, which should be up and running by 2020. REMONDIS will be helping the future systems operator by planning both the logistics, clearing and counting system as well as the services needed to market the recyclables. Thanks to its operations in Belarus, the company is helping to close material life cycles and promote an innovative circular economy across the country.
Heinz-Herbert Dustmann, President of the Dortmund Chamber of Industry and Commerce, described Belarus as being a partner for the future