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Special focus on development of international transport infrastructure in Belarus

Economy 08.06.2017 | 11:59

MINSK, 8 June (BelTA) – Belarus pays special attention to the development and modernization of the international freight traffic infrastructure, Belarusian Transport and Communications Minister Anatoly Sivak said at the ministerial conference on connectivity and compatibility in the region of the Central European Initiative “Wider Connectivity in the CEI Region: Building Bridges between Europe and Asia” in relation to the Belt and Road Initiative on 8 June, BelTA has learned.

“We realize that a well-developed transport infrastructure does not only improve the country's image, but also helps reduce the prime costs of the delivery of goods. The money invested in infrastructure has an indirect influence on all the sectors of economy. There is an old saying: ‘If you want to get rich, start building a road.' Bearing this in mind, Belarus pays special attention to the development and modernization of the international freight traffic infrastructure,” the minister emphasized.

Anatoly Sivak noted that two major transport corridors run across Belarus: International Transport Corridor No.2 that is the shortest connection between the countries of Western Europe and Asia via Russia, and International Transport Corridor No.9 connecting the Scandinavian and Baltic countries with the Balkans and the Middle East region. “All conditions are in place in Belarus to ensure safe and comfortable movement of vehicles along the international corridors running across the country,” the minister said.

Anatoly Sivak also paid attention to Belarus' participation in the Chinese Road and Belt initiative that allows for the implementation of large investment projects in the country. The China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone is one of such large-scale projects. The park is located in close proximity to an international transport corridor and Minsk National Airport. Its residents enjoy considerable economic preferences. The minister said that work is underway to set up a regional logistics center at the Great Stone park drawing on China's advanced practices. The center will service cargo delivered from China by land, by air, or via the Baltic Sea or the Black Sea.

Minsk is playing host to the ministerial conference on connectivity and compatibility in the region of the Central European Initiative “Wider Connectivity in the CEI Region: Building Bridges between Europe and Asia” in relation to the Belt and Road Initiative. Thematic panel discussions are focused on the modernization of transport and logistics infrastructure in the context of the EU strategies for the development of trans-European transport corridors involving the resources of international financial institutions; facilitation of trade through the harmonization of customs, rules of origin and value appraisal procedures, tariff and non-tariff regulation, industrial, sanitary and phytosanitary standards (including in the context of building the cooperation between the EU and EAEU).

The conference is also discussing the promotion of the concept of so-called digital transport corridors through the development of paperless trade systems, mutual recognition of electronic shipping documents, online sales platforms for small and medium-sized business, cross-border digital services.

The ministerial conference is held under the aegis of Belarus' presidency in the CEI.

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