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Opinions & Interviews

9 Jun 2016

Belarus, China urged to tap into interregional cooperation potential

MINSK, 9 June (BelTA) – It is important for Belarus and China to make the best use of the interregional cooperation potential, Deputy Head of Asia, Australia and Oceania Department – Head of the East Asia Department of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vadim Senyuta said as he spoke at the roundtable session “China’s Economic Development in 2016” at the House of Friendship on 8 June, BelTA has learned.

Speaking about China’s economic development, the representative of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that it has a great impact on the global economy and affects almost all the states in the present-day interrelated world. In 2015 China posted the lowest economic growth within the past 25 years – 6.9%. Today China focuses not on the quantity index but on the quality of growth. The new five-year plan determines a course for a serious structural transformation of the economy.

According to Vadim Senyuta, among the interesting trends is China’s state support of the railway and green infrastructure development. According to the plan, FDI will increase from $126 billion to $128 billion in 2016. The establishment of China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in January 2016, an initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, is viewed as the Chinese alternative to the world financial institutions under the aegis of the United States. The authorized capital of the bank is $100 billion. 57 countries are members of the bank.

Vadim Senyuta stressed that not long ago the Chinese Renminbi was included in the basket of currencies which make up the IMF’s Special Drawing Right, or SDR. This opens up prospects for new formats of cooperation between national banks.

“I would like to note an important tendency of China’s which is the reduction of production capacities and moving them outside the country closer to the target markets. It can be said that China has been actively transforming into a post-industrial economy where services, technology and knowledge-driven economy play the key roles. The services sector accounts for more than 50% of GDP in China today. These trends should be taken into account in Belarus’ further economic development and out bilateral cooperation with China. We are talking about upgrading and setting up new production facilities and simultaneously building a knowledge-driven economy in our countries, mutually complementing and using the potential and experience of each other,” said Vadim Senyuta.

According to him, one of the key factors to influence the bilateral cooperation between Belarus and China is China’s implementation of the One Belt. One Road initiative. The project will be used to intensify connection with the countries which make part of the new Silk Road, launch the construction and strengthening of infrastructure, cooperation in the sector of energy resources, and create a database of the most important bilateral programs. The plans will also include further construction of the China-Europe railways and the development of the “efficient customs” along the route to simplify customs procedures and expedite the development of international logistics thoroughfares.

“Belarus will take into account the abovementioned areas of the One Belt. One Road initiative in the development of the national roadmap on the joint construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt. For us it is important to include Belarusian projects into China’s database of the most important programs of the initiative. It is also important to pay attention to Beijing’s new trends, including the development of the “efficient customs” along the Silk Road Economic Belt. We will also take into consideration Beijing’s plans to stimulate the advancement of the traditional Chinese medicine and pharmaceutics abroad,” said the representative of the Belarusian ministry.

Attending the roundtable session were representatives of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belarus-China Friendship Society, parliament, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Belarusian universities, Confucius institutes.

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