MINSK, 11 February (BelTA) – It is important to encourage more Chinese corporations and banks to expand their presence in Belarus, President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he addressed the 6th Belarusian People's Congress in Minsk on 11 February, BelTA has learned.
“Belarus and China have a special relationship. Our foreign policy strategy views this great state as a far abroad country, however, de facto, responsible partnership has made us closest neighbors despite the distance. Our strategic cooperation with China was one of the reasons for the West's attack on Belarus at the end of last year, but this should not stop us. They told me right in my face: You should abandon China, China should not be in the center of Europe. I replied: When the European Union and the United States attacked us and our economy with large-scale sanctions 5-6 years ago, China unconditionally supported us, it opened its door for us and we entered. So are we now supposed to close the only gateway to Europe for China, this window opened by Belarus? We cannot do it, because we are grateful people and remember what happened back then. That was my answer to the U.S. officials and other stakeholders,” the Belarusian leader noted.
In his opinion, this situation proves that it was the right decision to deepen strategic relations with China. “Our development guidelines largely coincide, which is a good groundwork to keep strengthening ties between Belarus and China. Now the PRC is helping our country build housing, key social infrastructure facilities. These construction projects are financed by China. It is important now to encourage more Chinese corporations and banks to expand their presence in Belarus, primarily in the China-Belarus Industrial Park Great Stone. We, in turn, need to step up efforts to penetrate the vast Chinese market,” the president believes. Moreover, according to Aleksandr Lukashenko, China has opened up its market for Belarus. Today, Belarusian companies have an opportunity to export their agricultural products, food, industrial goods to China. “Hundreds of Belarusian agricultural companies have already been accredited to ship their products to China. On average, this will beef up our export to China by about $700 million, or even up to $1 billion,” the head of state emphasized.