The plant will receive raw material from the cluster’s first project, a Lithuanian-owned wood processing plant, to which the Bank provided an initial loan seven months ago.

Both plants are owned by Lithuanian investors.

EBRD Minsk Resident Office head Francis Delaey said the seven-year loan not only adds to the attractiveness of a strategically placed furniture cluster but will also contribute to the development of Belarus’s forestry industry, one of the country’s main exporters.

The borrower is IOOO Mebelain, which is controlled by Lithuania’s SBA Furniture Group.

When completed, Mebelain’s greenfield plant aims to produce about 750,000 items of veneer-faced furniture a year.

The project’s total cost is estimated at around EUR14m.