GOMEL, 9 April (BelTA) – Gomel Oblast and China's Sichuan Province have signed a twinning agreement at an online ceremony on 9 April, BelTA has learned.
The document was signed by Gomel Oblast Governor Gennady Solovei and Governor of the People's Government of Sichuan Province Huang Qiang. The agreement provides for closer cooperation in economy, trade, culture, social sphere and other areas.
Gennady Solovei emphasized that the southeastern region of Belarus established friendly relations with Sichuan Province back in 2015. In the course of six years, these relations have advanced to a new level. “An active political dialogue at the highest level creates a solid foundation for boosting bilateral trade and economic cooperation between our regions,” he said.
China is among top three trading partners of Belarus. Belarus is also an important trading partner for China in Eurasia. The two countries are well positioned to keep expanding mutually beneficial trade. Over the past five years, the export of goods from Gomel Oblast to China soared 5.8 times, or by $75.5 million. In 2020, the trade between Gomel Oblast and China amounted to $157 million, up 8.8%. The export to China is estimated at $91.1 million and import at $65.9 million.
Major exports to China include wood pulp (it accounted for 69% of exports in 2020), timber (15%), meat and dairy products (12.5%), confectionery (1.8%). Major imports from China are synthetic fabrics, air pumps, monitors and projectors, motors and generators.
Sixteen enterprises of Gomel Oblast are accredited to supply food products to China. Gomel manufacturers are ready to meet China's needs in flax, confectionery, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, carbon threads, non-woven coal, lumber, furniture, etc. There is also an interest in expanding the supply of Gomselmash ear corn and forage harvesters to the Chinese market.
Huang Qiang welcomed successful, robust and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two regions of China and Belarus. Sichuan Province covers an area of 486,000 square kilometers and is home to 91 million people. The region is called the gateway to China.
It was noted that the pandemic did not disrupt the inter-regional communication and the search for new avenues of cooperation. There are plans to arrange online business talks to forge closer ties between the companies of Gomel Oblast and Sichuan Province.
In total, Gomel Oblast signed four documents on interregional cooperation with China's provinces and regions, including the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (2011), Sichuan Province (2015), Jiangsu Province (2016) and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (2016). Eight documents were signed between administrative and territorial units of Gomel Oblast and China. Action plans and road maps to implement bilateral agreements are developed every year. The regions are interested in increasing trade, raising investments, exchanging visits of official and business delegations, and participating in forums and exhibitions.