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Some $5.6bn for first stage of Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park

MINSK, 1 October (BelTA) - As much as $5.6 billion is set to be invested during the first stage of the creation of the Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park in Minsk Oblast. The statement was made by Chinese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Belarus Gong Jianwei in an interview with the newspaper Respublika, BelTA has learnt.

Speaking about the creation of the Industrial Park, Gong Jianwei noted: “This is a major joint project. It receives special attention from the governments of the two countries. As you know, the Belarusian side has allocated 80.48km2 of land for it. The total amount of capital investment during the first stage is expected to be about $5.6 billion.” According to the Ambassador, the park itself is a huge project as far as infrastructure construction is concerned. It is unique in terms of both design and the amount of capital investment.

When designing the park the sides will draw on the experience of the Chinese-Singaporean Industrial Park in Suzhou in China’s province of Jiangsu. This was probably one of the reasons for the opening of an education center in China to train Belarusian staff, Gong Jianwei said.

The major idea of the industrial park is to create an industrial hub with an attractive investment climate. This center will bring together not only Chinese and Belarusian investors. I would like to underline that they will be mainly investors from third countries, investors which brands are famous all over the world. All constriction regulations concerning industrial production, science and technology, ecology and environment will be observed and geared to the interests of local people,” the Ambassador stressed.

Gong Jianwei characterized Belarus-China business cooperation as “a gradual shift from merely trade relations to financial and investment cooperation.” Not only Chinese investment in Belarus is meant here but also Belarusian investment in China.

To date the sides have signed over $16 billion worth of contracts using Chinese credit lines. We are talking about over 20 major projects in energy, communications, chemical industry, infrastructure and others,” said Gong Jianwei. He named renovation and modernization projects of the Novolukoml and Beryoza state district power stations, electrification of the railway section Osipovichi-Zhlobin and the construction of a hydroelectric power plant in Vitebsk, a cellulose plant in Svetlogorsk and a manufacturing complex to produce bleached board in Dobrush.

In the spring of 2013 the first batches of cars manufactured by the Chinese-Belarusian joint venture BelGee penetrated the market. The Chinese investor is ready to increase capital investment to $580 million and reach the production capacity of 120,000 cars per year by late 2015,” Gong Jianwei noted.

According to the Ambassador, when strengthening cooperation Belarus and China should elaborate concrete mechanisms to resolve particular matters such as the difference in production and economic standards, harmonization of these standards in compliance with both countries’ legislation, designing of different facilities considering local peculiarities and tax refund.