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Joint projects may help dramatically increase Belarus-China trade

19 January 2009

The Chinese government attaches a paramount importance to the strengthening of friendly ties with the Republic of Belarus, said Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to Belarus Lu Guicheng, following the ceremony of handing over credentials to the Belarusian Head of State on January 19, BelTA has learnt.

Lu Guicheng underlined that the cooperation between the two countries has been gaining momentum in the recent years. The Ambassador expressed his confidence that in 2009 the Belarusian-Chinese trade will be significantly increased. The implementation of major joint projects will help considerably enhance trade and economic contacts.

The People’s Republic of China is a major foreign trade partner of Belarus. In 2007 China ranked 5th in Belarus’ trade volume, 7th in export and 3rd in import among non-CIS states. In 2007 Belarus-China trade totalled $1.3 billion, 36.6% up on 2006. The export went up 21.6% to $484.65 million, the import — 47.4% up to $815.82 million.

Belarus’ major exports to China are potash fertilisers, caprolactam, rock haulers and spare parts, microchips and chip assemblies, metal products, chemical products, machine tools and instruments. Belarusian Potash Company, Belneftekhim Shanghai Trading, Minsk Tractor Works, Minsk Wheel-Tractor Plant, BelAZ, Integral, Belarusian Steel Works, Gomselmash, Transaviaexport Airlines, Belarusbank, Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have their offices in China. From China Belarus mainly imports equipment, components and materials for export-oriented enterprises, consumer goods.

Sessions of the Belarusian-Chinese Intergovernmental Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation are held regularly. Ten sessions have already been held.

40 out of more than 200 high-tech Belarus-China joint projects were implemented in 2008.

2007-2008 saw an increase in Chinese investments in Belarus. In particular, Chinese capital was used to refit Minsk cogeneration plants 2 and 5. The accomplished project BeST was praised. According to Sergei Sidorsky, the finished project of TV maker Horizont can evolve into a larger-scale project in the future. Now Belarus cooperates with Chinese corporation CITIC for the sake of modernising cement mills.

BelTA

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