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11 May 2015

Minsk, Beijing to sign twin-town agreement

MINSK, 12 May (BelTA) – Minsk and Beijing are expected to sign an agreement on the establishment of twin-town relations. The decision was taken during the talks between the delegation from Beijing and the authorities of the Minsk City Hall on 11 May, BelTA has learned.

“We plan to develop a draft agreement and will sign the document on town twinning. Summarizing the results of the meeting between the two heads of Belarus and China, Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun noted that the two capitals should become exemplary in regional cooperation. We will do our utmost for Minsk and Beijing to strengthen their relations in every area, from trade and economic to social and cultural areas,” Minsk Mayor Andrei Shorets said.

A Belarusian-Chinese working group will be set up to study mutual interests of the two cities and determine the cooperation vector in every area. Specialists will also think over the measures to increase the tourist flow from China to Minsk. Visa issues will be considered as well.

In turn, Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun noted that the leaders of Belarus and China outlined a number of cooperation areas. “We should put them into practice. We will foster our cooperation in science, high technology, education, culture, construction and other areas. This, among other things, will help enter the European markets,” he stressed.

On 11 May the Minsk City Hall and the People’s Government of Beijing signed a memorandum of cooperation. According to the document, the parties will strengthen trade and economic ties through the implementation of concrete plans and projects for mutual development. They will also support the use and development of the Beijing Hotel, provide necessary support and assistance in the construction of the residential district Lebyazhy, develop and implement joint cooperation programs.

Apart from that, Minsk and Beijing agreed on active cooperation in education, exchanges between government bodies and educational establishments, schools and universities of the two cities, mutual assistance in training teachers of the Chinese and Russian languages. Partner ties will grow stronger in tourism, culture and municipal services.

The delegation from Beijing led by its mayor arrived in Minsk on an official visit ahead of 9 May. The Chinese guests took part in the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory and laid flowers at the Minsk City Hero Memorial. The delegation also visited the Beijing Hotel, the residential district Lebyazhy, the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War, and took part in the Belarusian-Chinese Interregional Business Forum.

In 2002 the Minsk City Hall and the People’s Government of Beijing signed an agreement on cooperation in the trade, economic, sci-tech and humanitarian areas. In 1992 Minsk established twin-town relations with Changchun. A twin-town agreement between Minsk and Shenzhen was inked in 2014.

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