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Opinions & Interviews

28 May 2018

Belarus eager to step up trade, economic ties with China

Belarus eager to step up trade, economic ties with China

MINSK, 28 May (BelTA) – Belarus is interested in stepping up trade and economic ties with China. Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov made the statement as he met with Vice President of China Wang Qishan on 28 May, BelTA has learned.

Andrei Kobyakov noted: “Belarus-China trade grows larger every year. In 2017 trade with China exceeded $3 billion. Nevertheless, if we consider the scale of the Chinese economy, it is a very small figure. We have huge reserves for bolstering trade and economic ties.”

They have managed to slightly adjust the structure of Belarusian export in the last few years in favor of expanding the choice of products sold to China. “For the sake of further increasing the export of Belarusian products, for instance, food, we could more actively use the container trains shuttling between China and Europe,” believes the Belarusian head of government. “In addition to being profitable for Belarus and China, it would become our joint contribution to the development of trade along the Belt and Road route.”

The China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone is the key project. Today it is home to 35 resident companies not only from Belarus and China but also from Russia, Europe, the USA, and Israel. A special legal regime worked out in collaboration with Chinese colleagues has been in effect in the industrial park since May 2017. The regime is unparalleled in the Eurasian Economic Union. Andrei Kobyakov said he was confident that the Chinese companies, which had decided to become residents of the park, would never regret their choice.

Belarus’ participation in the China International Import Expo in Shanghai in November 2018 should give an impulse to the bilateral cooperation. The prime minister personally oversees the organization of the national and industry-specific expositions of Belarus, which will be arranged as part of the expo.

Belarus and China are gradually moving from credit cooperation to investment cooperation. “In the sphere of investments there are a number of projects, which implementation we would like to expedite in order to start working in new areas,” noted Andrei Kobyakov.

In turn, Wang Qishan noted that China President Xi Jinping sets a high value on Belarus-China friendship. This is why Belarus is the first country for Wang Qishan’s foreign official visit in his current capacity.

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