Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister, Anatoly Tozik, notes that it’s the first major Belarusian-Chinese investment project to involve foreign direct investments. “We’re shifting to a new level of co-operation with China, with credits and direct investments combined,” he says. The investment project is due to be accomplished by 2016, costing approximately $200-250m (in FDI).
In all, 33 residential buildings are to be constructed in the Lebyazhy suburb, with the total area exceeding 180,000 square metres. Flats shall be offered for public sale in the future. Minsk City Executive Committee Chairman Nikolai Ladutko remarks, “We’re satisfied with the signing of this agreement.”
The new residential suburb will be able to house almost 20,000 people. The Chinese are to build homes for 10,000, using their own designs and following Chinese cultural traditions. Investment money will be arriving from Chinese banks.
According to Mr. Ladutko, considerable preparations preceded the signing of the agreement. “Solutions have been found to all issues. Technical, organisational, economic and financial matters have been settled. A major step in the development of direct relations between Belarus and China has been made. This isn’t a contract for a trade credit; it envisages the attraction of direct Chinese investments into the Belarusian economy,” he explains.
The construction of a BUCC administrative-exhibition office in Lebyazhy is already underway — to house the company’s administration and to include a hotel initially hosting visiting specialists (and later for public use). Built by Chinese specialists, using Belarusian construction materials, the homes should be ready for sale in 2012, with flats being cheaper than the average in Minsk (a condition of the project).