China may lend $15bn to Belarus
18 June 2010
MINSK, 18 June (BelTA) – China is considering the possibility of giving a $15 billion loan to Belarus. The information was released by Chairman of the State Control Committee of Belarus Zenon Lomat at a meeting with Beijing’s official delegation led by Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong on 18 June. Zenon Lomat is a co-chairman of the Belarusian-Chinese commission for trade and economic cooperation. The negotiations took place at Minsk City Hall. Acting Mayor of Minsk Nikolai Ladutko took part in the negotiations, BelTA has learned.
The two heads of state are now considering the possibility of Belarus’ getting a $15 billion loan, including $1 billion on preferential terms, said Zenon Lomat. He specified that the decision on what investment projects will be implemented using the money will be made soon.
In his words, the Belarusian government is mulling over 100 investment projects now. Chinese businessmen could participate in them. Zenon Lomat called upon the Chinese businessmen to make investments not only in Minsk, but provinces, too.
The official also said that Belarus has good prospects of promoting Chinese goods to Europe, in particular, by building logistics centers. “We have landing runways that can welcome cargo aircraft from China. Then the cargoes could be shipped and sold in Europe,” said Zenon Lomat.
Speaking about specific Minsk-Beijing projects, he said that the development of Minsk’s residential area Lebyazhy and the construction of the Pekin Hotel in Minsk will start long-term and mutually beneficial contacts. “In 2014 when Minsk hosts the world ice hockey championship, we will take tourists on sightseeing tours to [the residential area] Lebyazhy. The best hockey teams will be accommodated in the Pekin Hotel,” the SCC Chairman made a joke. He also said he hopes that in 2011 direct air service between Beijing and Minsk will be established.
Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong is in Minsk on 17-20 June on an official visit. The delegation includes representatives of the municipal government, heads of civil engineering companies.
A memorial stone will be laid down in Minsk on 18 June where the future residential area Lebyazhy will be. Minsk Acting Mayor Nikolai Ladutko and Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong will take part in the ceremony.