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Opinions & Interviews

11 Apr 2018

Opinion: Belarus is a reliable partner for China

Opinion: Belarus is a reliable partner for China

MINSK, 11 April (BelTA) – Belarus is a reliable partner for China, Deputy Director of Belarus’ National Agency of Investment and Privatization Mikhail Dashuk said during the Belarusian-Chinese business meeting in the House of Friendship on 11 April, BelTA has learned.

“The trust-based relations between the countries, comprehensive strategic partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation are enshrined in the joint declaration between Belarus and China. We attach great importance to the development of cooperation established at the highest level by the leaders of Belarus and China. The countries interact in many spheres, including mutual trade, investment, tourism, science, and education,” the deputy director said.

Mikhail Dashuk stressed that a distinctive feature of the Belarusian economy is its openness, as evidenced by the fact that exports account for more than 60% of GDP. The growth rate of gross domestic product for 2017 was 2.4% from 2016 (in 2018 it is projected at 3.5%).

An important component of the government's efforts to develop the national economy is to improve the business climate. Since 2006 to 2018, Belarus has been one of the five top countries-reformers. In the World Bank Doing Business rankings, Belarus places 38th.

The deputy director emphasized closed credit cooperation between Belarus and China. The portfolio of government and guaranteed loan agreements amounts to over $5 billion. “The parties have already completed 15 projects worth $2.7 billion,” he added. Belarus was the first country to sign a memorandum with the Silk Road Fund of China to work out joint projects possible to finance through the Fund’s direct investments. The Government of Belarus and the Export-Import Bank of China signed a memorandum to promote Chinese companies in Belarus.

“I would like to note that Chinese business should view Belarus as the gateway to the Eurasian Economic Union. In practice this means the possibility to set up manufacturing enterprises in the country that will have unhindered access to the EAEU market. Belarus' transport infrastructure makes part of the world transport network and serves the interests of carriers on the West-East and North-South routes, promotes the interconnection of the largest markets on the continent. The conditions created in the country help processing trade flows from European and Asian countries. Belarus is one of the key platforms of the new Silk Road project in the Eurasian region,” said Mikhail Dashuk.

According to Mikhail Dashuk, an unprecedentedly favorable regime has been established in the Chinese-Belarusian industrial park Great Stone. For the first 10 years of operation, the resident of the park is exempt from income tax, and subsequently pays it at the rate of 50% to the one valid in the country until 2062. The park residents get full exemption from land tax and real estate tax. The minimum threshold for investments was reduced to below $500,000, provided the funds are invested within a three-year period. The national legislation regulating the activity of the park was developed with the participation of the public and private sectors of China. “By the examples of the park, we show the whole world how joint construction can be beneficial and effective,” he said.

There are various options for building a business model for Chinese and Belarusian entrepreneurs in Belarus. The National Agency of Investment and Privatization supports investors on the one-stop-shop principle,” Mikhail Dashuk said.

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