Agricultural products seen as new driver of Belarus' exports to China
14 December 2020
MINSK - Belarus sees agricultural products to China as a new export driver, Belarus First Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Belarusian part of the Belarusian-Chinese intergovernmental committee on cooperation Nikolai Snopkov said at the meeting of the committee, BelTA has learned.
“In trade with China there is some positive dynamics associated with the change in the structure of Belarusian exports: the product range is expanding, and dependence on potash exports is decreasing. The volume of supplies to China of Belarusian agricultural products, which we consider as a new driver of our exports, is increasing progressively,” Nikolai Snopkov noted.
Nikolai Snopkov outlined a number of priorities in the development of trade and economic cooperation between the countries, including active promotion of Belarusian exports to China, gaining access to the Chinese market for new categories of Belarusian beef, early accreditation of the Belarusian dry baby food, increasing the quota for the supply of sugar to China.
The priorities also includes the use of electronic trading platforms as a promising mechanism of bilateral trade, the inclusion of Belarusian products in the state reserves of the People's Republic of China, setting up joint facilities in China to process Belarusian raw materials, easing trade procedures and removing trade barriers, optimizing financial settlement mechanisms.
Next year, China will adopt another five-year development plan. "I am sure that we could link Belarus' development strategy with it by defining the areas of the most effective cooperation which will become the locomotive of economic development of the two countries," Nikolai Snopkov said.
The China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone has registered 67 resident companies from 14 countries. The total amount of committed investments is $1.2 billion. “Despite the good results, we cannot slow down, we must constantly look for new ways of development,” Nikolai Snopkov stressed. “Now we must start the second phase of the construction of the Great Stone and immediately launch projects to build a second substation, a residential rental complex for 172 apartments, a bus station and to supply eight electric buses." He expressed hope for "all-weather support" for the park without linking it to the projects already agreed by the parties.
According to the first deputy prime minister, financial and credit cooperation between Belarus and China is gradually reaching a new level. Belarus has created special legal terms for the China-Belarus investment fund, provides a number of tax benefits. Nikolai Snopkov invited Chinese companies to work with the fund. According to him, in the current tough economic conditions Belarus is planning to implement a comprehensive project to ensure financial stability and to improve the standard of living of the population. In this regard Belarus hopes for the support of China.
Nikolai Snopkov thanked China for providing Belarus with technical assistance for the most important socially oriented projects. Now the portfolio of projects includes the construction of social housing, two sports facilities, support for the industrial park. He expressed confidence that the China International Development Cooperation Agency will complete the necessary procedures for signing the intergovernmental agreement agreed by the parties to launch the third stage of the construction of social housing in Belarus.
The first deputy prime minister confirmed the readiness of the Belarusian side to continue hosting Chinese children for recovery and treatment once the epidemiological situation improves.
Nikolai Snopkov noted that although the pandemic affected the tourism sector the countries did not stop air traffic. "During this difficult period, the availability of the flight has confirmed its importance and effectiveness more than ever. We have given thousands of citizens from all over the world the opportunity to return home safely. It is obvious that we need to expand direct flights between the two countries both on the basis of the existing Beijing-Minsk flight, and by opening new routes,” he noted.