MINSK, 2 July (BelTA) – About $500 million has already been invested in the construction of the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone. Belarusian Economy Minister Dmitry Krutoi made the relevant statement during the Belt and Road Forum for Regional Cooperation and Development in the park on 2 July, BelTA has learned.
The official said: “Nearly $500 million from all kinds of sources has already been invested in the project. I am talking about shareholders, investors, budgets of the governments, loans, and technical aid. The park is home to 44 resident companies. Another 11 residents will be added today. They represent billions of U.S. dollars in declared investments and 354ha of the explored starting area.”
Speaking about Belarus-China cooperation as a whole, Dmitry Krutoi noted that over the course of ten years Belarus-China trade rose by 2.7 times. Merchandise export tripled. China's investments in Belarus skyrocketed by 60 times, with direct investments up by 211 times. The portfolio of technical and economic aid has already reached $500 million and constantly grows. According to the economy minister, the highest level of political relations and personal friendship of the leaders of the two countries contribute to achieving these results.
“Without hesitation Belarus joined China's Belt and Road initiative and intends to fully use its advantageous position. Certain accomplishments have already been secured in the last few years,” the economy minister noted. The construction of the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone is one of them.
Dmitry Krutoi also drew attention to work with Chinese financial institutions with a view to enabling Silk Road projects. “In January 2019 Belarus officially became a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Literally in two weeks we are going to discuss the beginning of implementation of new concrete projects with the finance minister in Luxembourg.”
The bilateral visa waiver program and regional cooperation contribute to the vigorous advancement of bilateral relations. “We have already signed over 30 regional agreements between all the oblasts of Belarus and Minsk and provinces and cities of China. There is a colossal potential for our future development in it,” Dmitry Krutoi believes.
The Belt and Road Forum for Regional Cooperation and Development is taking place in the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone within the framework of the Belt and Road initiative. The key topic of the forum is Great Stone Industrial Park – Global Opportunities. The forum gathered representatives of governments, heads of business associations, investment funds, banks, and major companies from Europe and Asia.
It is the first large-scale event held in the park in continuation of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which took place in Beijing in April 2019.
The forum's program is rather extensive. The plenary session will focus on participation of countries in the Belt and Road initiative. Four panel sessions will be held to discuss innovative development and new technologies, transport and logistics systems, prospects of cooperation with financial institutions, and the development of the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone as a smart ecocity. Plans have been made to sign bilateral documents and register new resident companies in the park.