Lukashenko signs directive on Belarus-China bilateral relations development
MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has signed Directive No. 5 “Concerning the development of bilateral relations between the Republic of Belarus and the People's Republic of China” on 31 August 2015. The document was posted on the national legal Internet portal on 2 September, BelTA has learned.
In accordance with the document, “the main priority of the Belarusian-Chinese cooperation is the mutual resolute support on the issues regarding the vital interests of the two countries such as sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and economic development.”
The directive also specifies major avenues of cooperation with China. These include deep and mutual integration of industries and enterprises, IT and communication technologies, the establishment of joint research and scientific centers, joint development of scientific branches, direct and comprehensive inter-regional cooperation, the establishment of the regional center of Chinese studies and cooperation with China.
Joint development of Belarus-China cooperation in trade, investment, finance and innovation, the preparation and implementation of joint projects, the foundation of joint ventures is the key avenue of cooperation with China. The Belarusian-Chinese intergovernmental committee for cooperation will coordinate the development of relation with the People's Republic of China.
In line with the directive, the Belarus President Administration is instructed to shape the long-term framework of cooperation with the international department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in five major avenues such as the regular exchange of high-level visits, organization of joint trainings, interaction in the implementation of the Silk Road project, cooperation in the analysis of the principles of sustainable social development, enhancement of cooperation of analytical centers and mass media in 2015.
The State Secretariat of Belarus' Security Council has been instructed to analyze, coordinate and bolster cooperation with the People's Republic of China in the military technology, security and mitigation of the consequences of natural disasters and emergencies this year.
By 1 January 2016 the Council of Ministers of Belarus as well as interested public bodies, oblast executive committees and the Minsk City Hall have to organize direct interaction with the specialized organizations of China in the preparation and harmonization of the action plan to facilitate procedures and regulatory requirements concerning the technical regulation, sanitary and phytosanitary, veterinary and epidemiological control with a view to guarantee mutual access to markets. It is also needed to introduce electronic quality control and quarantine certificates in mutual trade, set up a joint venture for the organization, forwarding and promotion of mutual supplies of goods and services, develop a comprehensive action plan to boost Belarus' export to China to at least $1.5 billion by 2020.
There is an instruction to compile a list of organizations for the engagement of large Chinese companies in the projects to advance cooperation and the purchase of shares of companies specializing in agriculture, heavy engineering, machine-tool building, the manufacture of domestic appliances and electronics, optical and mechanical engineering, the production of polymers, medical devices and household chemicals by 1 July 2016. It is also necessary to create mechanisms for raising more direct investments from China to the energy sector, production of construction materials, transport infrastructure, manufacture and processing of farm produce and other industries of mutual interest in 2016-2020.
An instruction has been made to organize the assembly of Belarusian farm machines in China and to create a robust system for the pre-sale and aftersale maintenance of this equipment taking into account regional peculiarities and the production-sales chains of Chinese corporations. These facilities should produce and sell at least 6,000 tractors and 3,000 harvesters in 2016 and should be able to ramp up their output in the future.
There is an instruction to systematically develop loan cooperation on the principles of competitiveness and mid-term cost recovery taking into account the priority areas of utilizing funds for the development of small and medium-sized businesses and the use of loan instruments to increase the inflow of China's direct investment. In accordance with the document, it is needed to fine-tune and coordinate Belarusian national programs regarding the modernization and development of the transport, logistics, telecom, customs infrastructure with Belarus' participation in the project to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
An instruction has been made to ensure the annual increase in the share of national currencies used in mutual trade, the use of Chinese yuans to diversify the structure of the gold and forex reserves, the placement of government and corporate securities. In order to promote venture financing of innovative projects, develop small and medium-sized businesses, raise the efficiency of state-run companies there are plans mull over the establishment of a joint Belarus-China investment fund.
As for science and technology, by 1 July 2016 it is needed to create the list of new joint research centers with the participation of organizations of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Belarusian institutions of higher learning and Chinese partners in competitive and promising fields. By 1 January 2017 it is essential to harmonize the mechanisms of legal protection and patenting of intellectual property objects of the two countries.
The document also includes an instruction to develop and approve the program of inter-regional exhibitions and fairs, the days of Chinese provinces and Belarusian regions, cities and towns for the period till 2020. This program shall be revised and updated every year. In line with the directive, till 2020 every oblast and the city of Minsk should use regional cooperation projects to raise at least $100 million in Chinese direct investment every year.
In the humanitarian field Belarus and China need to harmonize and approve the program of training Belarusian students at Chinese universities in the 2016/2017 academic year. By 1 January 2016 Belarusian and Chinese partners should join efforts to work out the program of setting up traditional Chinese medicine centers and traditional Chinese gymnastics centers in all Belarus' oblast capitals and to opening a joint tourism company by 2018.