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Opinions & Interviews

28 Jun 2016

Cui Qiming: Belarus is to become important part of Silk Road Economic Zone

Cui Qiming: Belarus is to become important part of Silk Road Economic Zone

MINSK, 28 June (BelTA) - Belarus is to become an important part of the Silk Road Economic Zone, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to Belarus Cui Qiming said when speaking at the roundtable “Belarus’ Advantages and Prospects in the Silk Road Economic Belt”, BelTA has learned.

“Being an important part of the Silk Road Economic Zone, Belarus, in my opinion, has a number of advantages. Above all, these are the advantages that we have thanks to the high political mutual trust. Since the establishment 24 years ago, the diplomatic relations between China and Belarus have been developing dynamically. In 2013, during the visit to China, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko and China President Xi Jinping jointly announced the raising of the relations to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership, which means a new stage of development. The Chinese and Belarusian governments have already signed an agreement on cooperation within the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt, during which the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Belarus will expand and strengthen even more,” the Chinese Ambassador said.

The Ambassador drew attention to the advantages of Belarus’ geographical position: “Being a geographic anchor point in the Silk Road Economic Belt in Europe, Belarus occupies a vital strategic position. Belarus is a gateway to the huge markets of the EEU and the EU, to the Baltic and Black Seas.” In his opinion, advantages of mutual contacts in the humanitarian field are important as well. For example, China and Belarus jointly organize culture days, cinema weeks, art exhibitions and other cultural events. Of great importance is the implementation of the agreement on the establishment of cultural centers, which helps develop contacts between peoples.

“The Chinese-Belarusian cooperation continuously rises to new highs. Against the backdrop of depressive stagnation of the world market, the bilateral trade reached $3.2 billion in 2015, having increased by 5.6%. China has become the third largest trading partner of Belarus. The structure of bilateral trade has been gradually improving; Belarusian export to China has been increasing,” Ambassador Cui Qiming said.

The Ambassador also noted that the investment and credit cooperation between the two countries has been gaining momentum: China’s total investment in Belarus amounted to $1.34 billion. China and Belarus are successfully implementing 30 joint projects in electricity, energy, electrification of railways, reconstruction of roads, construction of cement plants, car assembly facilities, small and medium-sized businesses and other areas.”

Ambassador Cui Qiming stressed that a Chinese space vehicle has recently launched a Belarusian communications satellite into orbit. “This has become a new avenue of our cooperation,” diplomat believes. He also stressed the importance of the fact that at present both sides are actively working on the utilization of a $7 billion credit line announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping during a visit to Belarus in May last year The first projects will soon be launched.

“Construction and development of the Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park that has attracted a lot of attention reached positive momentum. China and Belarus are working together to make the industrial park an open mutually beneficial and environmentally friendly platform for international industrial cooperation, to create a model project of bilateral cooperation and turn it into the gem of the Silk Road Economic Belt,” Ambassador Cui Qiming added.

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