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Opinions & Interviews

19 Sep 2016

Belarus’ eagerness to embrace Silk Road Economic Belt emphasized

Belarus’ eagerness to embrace Silk Road Economic Belt emphasized

URUMQI, 19 September (BelTA-Xinhua) – Belarus was one of the first few countries to back China President Xi Jinping’s initiative to create the Silk Road Economic Belt. Ambassador of Belarus to China Kirill Rudy made the statement in a written interview with the Xinhua news agency prior to the 5th China-Eurasia Expo, which is scheduled to take place in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwestern China on 20-25 September, BelTA has learned.

The Ambassador remarked that Belarus had always responded favorably to regional initiatives. He said he believes that interregional cooperation contains inexhaustible potential for advancing interstate ties.

Belarus’ geographic location predetermined the country’s role as a nodal platform for implementing the Silk Road Economic Belt projects in the Eurasian region as well as the country’s role as a transport, logistics, information, and communication link. Belarus already works together with China in building motorways and bridges, in electrifying and reconstructing railway sections, in building power engineering, information and communication installations and other infrastructure objects in Belarus.

Kirill Rudy emphasized: “But there is one peculiarity. In addition to redistributing goods we make them and add value. The China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone, the pearl of the Silk Road Economic Belt, plays a special role in it.” The Ambassador remarked that the Park is an international high-tech project, which symbolizes the sweeping transition of the two countries from credit cooperation to investment cooperation and the merger of manufacturing potentials. “Already there are companies registered as residents of the Great Stone Park, including the internationally recognized names of Huawei, ZTE, and Zoomlion,” he reminded.

Speaking about coupling the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the development of the Eurasian Economic Union, Kirill Rudy said that since the Eurasian Economic Union is a multilateral organization, it is necessary to take into account interests of all the members and work out a single stance in order to couple it with the Silk Road Economic Belt. The process can be accelerated but no details can be omitted.

Apart from that, the Ambassador stated that Belarus actively supports the operation and expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. “Belarus is the western gateway of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. We are an observer country but an active observer. As our president said, we play in the field instead of warming the bench,” said Kirill Rudy. “I think that commercial and financial initiatives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to implement joint projects in the Eurasian Economic Union with assistance of Chinese companies could help step up interlinkage within the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt,” he stated.

Speaking about the 5th China-Eurasia Expo, the Ambassador noted that the expo will primarily focus on joint discussion, joint construction, and joint utilization of the Silk Road Economic Belt, including emerging possibilities and the future of the project. In his words, the China-Eurasia Expo is a major international event. Held in Xinjiang, it has become a traditional platform for advancing China’s relations with Eurasian nations, including Belarus. The expo has become an important channel of development in the sphere of trade, investments, finance, culture, science and technology. The China-Eurasia Expo is not an infant, but a forum that grows stronger and more mature every year.

The Ambassador noted that Belarus had seen the potential of the region from afar and had been taking part in the China-Eurasia Expo since its inception. A national day of the Republic of Belarus was held for the first time as part of the expo in 2014. This year Belarus will take part in the expo as a guest of honor. “The Belarusian national pavilion will broadly represent Belarusian companies and enterprises specializing in mechanical engineering, agriculture and petrochemical industry. The pavilion will allow the business circles to expand partnering relations and will give an impulse to the advancement of interregional and interstate ties,” stressed Kirill Rudy.

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