MINSK, 29 April (BelTA) - Belarus supports China's initiative to create the digital Silk Road and would like to join it, Belarus' First Deputy Transport and Communication Minister Aleksei Lyakhnovich said at the 2nd International Parliamentary Conference of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Silk Road Support Group “Belt and Road: Strengthening cooperation for sustainable development and prosperity", BelTA has learned.
Aleksei Lyakhnovich laid out the ideas regarding the implementation of international infrastructure projects. “We support China's initiative to create the digital Silk Road and would like to join it in order to build up our capacities of delivering goods by dint of cargo handling automation. To accelerate movement of goods and passenger flows it will make sense to synchronize actions of the countries that host Asia-Europe land routes,” he said. The matter is about the UN ECE adopting the standards for electronic documents and the methodology for exchanging information.
Aleksei Lyakhnovich also spoke about Belarus' transport and logistic capabilities. 18 specialized accelerated container trains carry goods from Asia to Europe, from the Scandinavian countries to the Balkans through Belarus. In 2018, they transported around 325,000 containers along China-Europe route to the OSCE states. By 2025, the figure is expected to increase to 1 million a year.
The official of the Transport Ministry noted that the China-Belarus Industrial Park Great Stone is located close to Minsk National Airport. With the new runway in operation, it can accommodate all types of aircraft. Thus, Belarus expects to develop not only road and rail transportation but also air transportation for the park. "Setting up an international hub to process and deliver cargoes by air at Minsk National Airport can be an important area of development of civil aviation as part of the Belt and Road initiative,” Aleksei Lyakhnovich said.
Minsk is hosting the 2nd International Parliamentary Conference of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Silk Road Support Group “Belt and Road: strengthening cooperation for sustainable development and prosperity". The agenda of the conference focuses on economic matters. Special attention is also attached to humanitarian cooperation and tourism.
The events of the conference will be held through 30 April. Its participants are set to visit the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone to get familiar with its development and meet with its management and representatives of the resident companies.
The first conference of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Silk Road Support Group took place in Azerbaijan in March 2018. The purpose of the Minsk event is to present economic and investment capabilities of Belarus as an important hub of the Silk Road economic belt. The Minsk conference will be attended by MPs and business representatives from Austria, Azerbaijan, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Switzerland. The OSCE PA Silk Road Support Group was set up at the 26th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk in 2017.
The group is designed to expand the areas of cooperation and strengthen political, economic and cultural relations between the participating states. The group plays a role of a platform to promote mutually beneficial economic and trade ties, in particular through promoting connectivity and developing transport corridors, transport and trade facilitation measures, promoting free and secure movement of persons, goods, services and investments.