China to consider relaxing terms of tied loans for Belarus
06 October 2015
MINSK (BelTA) – China has agreed to consider the possibility of relaxing the requirements of the tied loans granted to Belarus. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement when answering questions of representatives of labor collectives and Minsk District residents after opening a newly built section of the second Minsk ring road on 6 October, BelTA has learned.
The Belarusian head of state reminded that China had lent $7 billion to Belarus. “These are good loans. Some of them come with an interest rate as low as 1.5-2%. One could say the money is free of charge. But these are tied loans. We can use the money and our own materials to implement 50% or 70% of a project but workers, machines, equipment and so on from China will have to account for the remaining 30-50%,” said Alexander Lukashenko.
Alexander Lukashenko noted that during the latest meeting with the China President he asked the Chinese side to change the lending terms. “Because our economic situation is complicated and $7 billion would save us in this period of crisis,” explained the Belarusian leader. “We would like to untie these loans. We could pay an interest rate and buy our own equipment, our own workers would build using our own materials. Then the money would benefit our economy. Then we would not have to return 30% or 50% of the loans to the People's Republic of China.”
“They have agreed to consider relaxing the requirements of the tied loans for specific projects. For the duration of the difficult period,” noted the President.