Belarus to set up $585m investment fund to attract new residents to Great Stone Park
02 August 2017
MINSK - An investment fund to the tune of $585 million may be set up in Belarus to attract new residents to the China-Belarus Great Stone Industrial Park. The capacity of the fund may be increased up to $1 billion or more, if need be.
The prospects of establishing an fund like that were discussed during the meeting between Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Xiao Yaqing, Chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission at China’s State Council, the president’s press-service said in a report.
Apart from the investment fund, the parties plan to step up research to study market demand for certain products, offering professional training and advanced training of employees for the companies that are residents of the Great Stone park.
The Great Stone Industrial park is expected to be included in the list of projects overseen by the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission at China’s State Council. This will create additional opportunities for granting assistance with attracting investors and addressing matters of cooperation between state-owned enterprises.
According to President Lukashenko, it is necessary to strengthen cooperation in many avenues in the near future. These include direct investment in the park, construction of new high-tech enterprises, companies of tomorrow. “You understand that if we build enterprises of yesterday or even today, we will not be able to sell the products of these enterprises on the markets of the European Union and other markets. We need high-tech enterprises to sell their products in any corner of the planet,” said Lukashenko.
Lukashenko said that joint efforts with state-owned corporations to enhance interaction in military technology may help develop cooperation. “It is quite possible and would be great to set up high-tech military enterprises in the park. These can be joint and Chinese enterprises. Chinese corporations working in the military industry should come to this park,” said Lukashenko.
Xiao Yaqing emphasized that the delegation accompanying him on his visit to Belarus, which includes representatives of major Chinese corporations, aims to carry out the agreements reached by the leaders of the two countries. “The companies represented in our delegation are among the world’s top 500 largest and strongest enterprises,” said Xiao Yaqing.
He thanked the Belarusian head of state for the all-round support provided to Chinese enterprises in Belarus, in particular, for the assistance with the implementation of the Great Stone project. For instance, Decree No.166 of 12 May 2017 created the most favourable legal conditions for commercial activity for the Great Stone park residents that are unparalleled in Belarus and other EAEU member states. “We have seen that a great deal of work has been done in many areas to develop the park and encourage companies to become its residents. This will help us make the project international, create favourable conditions and business climate,” the head of the Chinese delegation noted.
The Great Stone Industrial Park is based in Smolevichi Rayon (Minsk Oblast), where a special economic area will be established on an area of 8,048 ha subject to special legal regulations for a period of 50 years. The industrial park will host business projects in electronics, biomedicine, fine chemistry and mechanical engineering, which resident companies enjoying lucrative tax preferences.
The total value of the project is estimated at $30 billion. The parties have agreed that Belarus will hold a 40% stake in the authorized capital of the Belarusian-Chinese company that will develop the project.
SZAO Industrial Park Development Company was established on Aug 27, 2012 by Sinomach (32%), Minsk Oblast Administration (30.86%), China Merchants Group (20%), CAMCE (13.71%), Harbin Investment Group (2.29%), Minsk City Administration (0.57%), Belarus’ Horizont Group (0.57%). The Great Stone Park is currently developing its infrastructure.
At the initial stage, 10,000 jobs will be created. After the part starts operating at full capacity, the number of jobs will increase to 132,000. So far 13 companies have been registered as residents at the Great Stone Park.