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11 Apr 2017

Belarus, China to step up effort to remove trade barriers

MINSK, 11 April (BelTA) – Belarus and China will step up their effort to remove the trade barriers, the public relations department of the Belarusian Economy Ministry told BelTA commenting on the results of the third meeting of the commission for trade and economic cooperation of the Belarus-China intergovernmental committee on cooperation held in Beijing on 11 April.

Belarusian Economy Minister Vladimir Zinovsky opened the meeting and said that the coordinated work of the commission and its working groups, and also the great amount of attention from the governments of the two countries helped Belarus and China raise their bilateral relations to a new level. “I am confident that such relations and format of cooperation will further contribute to the development of our economies,” the minister said.

The meeting considered a wide range of issues related to the bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, finance, technology and economy. Strengthening the bilateral trade was named a priority cooperation area. An agreement was reached to step up the work of the relevant ministries to promote the growth and diversification of the bilateral trade, achieve reduction and complete removal of the trade barriers, and expand the collaboration between Belarus and China in e-trade and other emerging trade practices.

The parties agreed to continue the effort to strengthen investment cooperation and start using new mechanisms for the development of the investment sector with deeper integration of Chinese companies in Belarusian projects.

The parties also decided to sign by mid-May 2017 loan agreements on the projects of the holding companies Amkodor and Saleo, and the project to establish a full-cycle hi-tech agricultural enterprise.

The experts shared their ideas about further steps to attract Chinese investments to 22 Belarusian companies. Apart from that, Belarus and China agreed to continue supporting the development and effective operation of the industrial park Great Stone and its nearby territories through Chinese technical and economic assistance that is used, among other things, to develop social and civil infrastructure facilities for the park. New projects to attract Chinese technical and economic assistance were also considered during the meeting in Beijing.

The Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation and the Research Institute of the Ministry of Economy were tasked with establishing a joint working group to coordinate the work to align the 13th five-year plan for economic and social development of China and Belarus’ social and economic development program for 2016-2020, and also the strategies for long-term development of the two countries.

As he commented on the preliminary results of the visit to China, Vladimir Zinovsky noted that the parties agreed on plans and objectives for the development of the China-Belarus industrial park that is a project of strategic importance. “In terms of the joint effort to attract investors and residents to the park, we hope to achieve 20/10/5 results, which means 20 registered residents, 10 residents at the stage of construction works, and at least 5 residents already operating their facilities,” the Belarusian minister emphasized.

The fourth meeting of the commission will be held in Belarus in 2018. Following the current visit to Beijing, the Belarusian officials will visit China’s provinces Zhejiang, Guangdong and Fujian on 11 and 12 April to meet with local government authorities and representatives of companies interested in conducting projects in Belarus. The Belarusian delegation will hold a small forum and a presentation of the investment potential of Belarus and the industrial park Great Stone in Fuzhou.

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