Belarus, China maintain trade momentum amid global economic decline
15 February 2021
MINSK - Belarus and China have maintained trade momentum amid the general global economic decline, Anton Dudarenok, head of the department of the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, told BelTA while commenting on Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko's speech at the 6th Belarusian People's Congress.
The head of state noted that Belarus and China have special, strategic relations. “We are the closest neighbors despite thousands of miles between us,” Anton Dudarenok said.
"At the heart of our ties are decades of long lasting friendship, common values and goals of historical development, exchange of visits at the highest level, mutual support on fundamental issues on the international arena," the expert said.
According to him, in the difficult 2020, China demonstrated economic stress resistance and impressive technological achievements, announced large-scale transformations designed to run for decades. In the fight against modern challenges, Beijing calls on the countries to take decisive action in the economy, foreign policy, security, which si commensurate with the role of the global leader.
In 2020 China was one of the markets Belarusian exports. That's not the limit. Belarus plans to increase export to China bu $700 million to $1 billion.
Today, more than 100 Belarusian companies have been certified to export their products to the Chinese market. In turn, there are 170 organizations with Chinese investments (52 joint and 118 foreign) in Belarus. The Great Stone Industrial Park has 68 resident companies from 14 countries.
With the assistance of Chinese banks, Belarus has more than 30 large-scale projects, both finished and ongoing, worth a total of $8 billion in the energy industry, manufacturing, agriculture, logistics, and other fields. The aim to expand the business and investment presence of Chinese banks in Belarus is a logical step in the development of the bilateral cooperation.
China welcomes Belarus' active participation in the Silk Road economic initiative (according to estimates, more than 80% of container trains along this route transit through Belarus). The parties are developing industrial and logistics infrastructure in the special economic zone Bremino-Orsha, which is meant to become one of the largest clusters in the European part of the EAEU.
Anton Dudarenok stressed that the potential of Belarus-China partnership enables the countries to maintain mutually beneficial contacts within the framework of the Belt and Road initiative and to continue aligning their development strategies.
In the current circumstances, it is important to invigorate interregional cooperation, which will strengthen the solid foundation of the Belarusian-Chinese relations even more.
In the spring of 2020, amid the rampant coronavirus pandemic, Belarus received medicines and medical products from more than 20 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous districts of China thanks to the active development of interregional ties. For its part, Belarus also sent humanitarian cargo for the worst-hit regions of China.
The strategic nature of the Belarusian-Chinese relations opens up plenty of opportunities for bolstering ties in all avenues. The comprehensive interaction goes in line with the common interests and prompts Minsk and Beijing to search for new mechanisms of regional cooperation and additional foreign economic opportunities.