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Belarus continues efforts to expand access to Chinese market

Economy 24.04.2019 | 10:14
Kirill Rudy. An archive photo
Kirill Rudy. An archive photo

BEIJING, 24 April (BelTA) – Belarus continues its work to expand access to the Chinese market for its products and services, Belarus' Ambassador to China Kirill Rudy told the media in Beijing, BelTA has learned.

“China has changed the structure of its economy virtually over a year. Today the country mainly develops not through exports and production, but domestic consumption which has recently made up 76% of China's GDP. This is an opportunity for Belarus, for many countries to enter the market. Keeping in mind our favorable political relations, we are getting permits earlier than others. That is why there is the possibility to enter the market first, show yourself and prove your worth,” the diplomat said.

In his words, 2018 was a successful year by way of opening the Chinese market for Belarusian goods. “The major goal for this year is to take a foothold and move further to increase the added value for our goods and services on the market. China is not only a big market of goods. It is also a huge market of services,” Kirill Rudy said.

Plans are in place to sign more than 20 agreements during the current visit of the Belarusian delegation to China as part of the participation in the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. “These are one intergovernmental, six ministerial agreements and 13 business contracts. The intergovernmental agreement to be signed between the transport ministries of the two countries will open the Chinese market of services for Belarusian forwarders,” the diplomat said.

The agenda also includes investment agreements, including the ones related to a series of events scheduled for 2019. These are the regional international forum within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, which is due in Minsk on 2 July. “These are also agreements related to the market opening, the access for Belarusian products (fodder additives, dairy and fish products), a bigger number of Belarusian diary products that will be accredited to deliver product to the Chinese market,” Kirill Rudy said.

A big delegation from Belarus, including representatives of different ministries and agencies, has already arrived in Beijing. A schedule of meetings and talks has been compiled to discuss the expansion of access to the market for Belarusian beef and poultry.

Speaking about cooperation within the Belt and Road Initiative, the ambassador mentioned two major areas. The first one is that about 90% of railway transportation via the Chine-Europe route passes through Belarus. The second one is related to the development of the Great Stone Industrial Park. “This is the biggest park which China is building. It has become a brand of the Silk Road project. Every presentation of the Chinese initiative showcases five or six major projects, including our park,” said Kirill Rudy.

In September 2013 Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward an initiative to develop the Silk Road Economic Belt aimed at the establishment of new interregional cooperation. Together with the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative, the united concept was named Belt and Road. Cooperation priorities along the Belt and Road initiative include policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds.

Belarus was among the first to support the initiative and continues active participation in its implementation. One of the key elements in it is the Great Stone Industrial Park. So far, 32 residents have been registered in the park. These are 26 companies from China, nine – from Belarus, and one from Germany, Russia, the United States, Austria and Lithuania each. There are also joint projects with the Russian-Belarusian capital, Belarusian-Chinese-German-Russian capital, and the Israeli-Cyprian-Canadian-Swiss capital. More than $443 million has been invested in the park since the launch of the project. Projects cover such sectors as electronics and telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and biotechnologies, mechanical engineering, new materials, laser equipment, unmanned systems.

As BelTA reported earlier, Aleksandr Lukashenko is expected to take part in the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on 25-27 April. The head of state will hold a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the event. At the forthcoming summit Aleksandr Lukashenko will lay out Belarus' proposals to further develop this global initiative, strengthen cooperation on the Eurasian space with a focus on an equal and transparent system of international trade. The Belarusian head of state is set to meet with China President Xi Jinping to discuss the implementation of the most significant joint projects, the development of interregional cooperation and prospects for deepening Belarus-China cooperation in trade, economic, investment, humanitarian and other areas.

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