Good beginnings and promising prospects
Belarus promoting major new projects involving one of largest Chinese corporations
Recent negotiations in Minsk have seen the President of CITIC Group Corporation, Wang Jun, meeting President Alexander Lukashenko. The latter declared, “In the near future, most likely in September, we’ll hold high-level negotiations in Beijing with my colleague Xi Jinping. We have an extensive agenda, and many issues which we should co-ordinate and solve. I won’t hide my hope that, by that time, our ministries and departments, enterprises and holdings will have worked with you to not only find themes for negotiations, but to prepare draft documents on implementing serious projects in our two countries, primarily, in Belarus.”
The Head of State noted that much has been already achieved in Belarus with the participation of CITIC Group. He commented, “Your company is one of the world’s largest; it’s a pleasure to liaise with such a company. You know the strategic character of relations between the People’s Republic of China and Belarus. Your company’s work in Belarus is organically entwined into the ‘fabric’ of these relations.”
Wang Jun added that all his company‘s projects in Belarus have been successful, including in the sphere of manufacturing cement and vehicles, and the modernisation of Orsha Linen Mill. “Right after my arrival in Belarus, I visited the construction site for our BelGee Automobile Plant and listened to reports by participants,” he said. “Be sure, we will complete all works and meet the project schedule by the end of this year. We’ll also complete the project to modernise Orsha Linen Mill by the end of next June.”
As Wang Jun told journalists, following negotiating meetings with the President and with the Government of Belarus, current projects were discussed alongside long-term co-operative plans. “We’ve signed co-operation documents on the creation of manufacturing for emergency and agricultural vehicles, as well as a joint investment fund. New possibilities for business development will open up over time,” the President of CITIC Group noted.
Wang Jun notes that a detailed study is being made on some new projects, saying, “CITIC Group is a global investment company, and sees great possibilities for business in Belarus. We’ve noted the advantages of your state support, the high level of personnel, the cost price of manufacturing and other aspects.” He voiced his hope for assisted expansion of partnership, including the attraction of other leading Chinese companies into Belarus, which is viewed as a foothold for future business in Europe. After returning to China, the visitors plan to gather a large commission of experts, to look at possibilities and build a plan for further co-operation with Belarus.
It is expected that manufacturing of telescopic and bucket loaders will begin in Kolodishchi, near Minsk, while Novopolotsk is to gain a joint tractor plant making up to 50,000 units annually.
CITIC Group Corporation includes more than 40 affiliated companies and bank structures registered and operating in China and abroad (in the USA, Canada, Australia and other countries). Basic directions of activity include financial activity, real estate and building, natural resources development, information technology, industry, trade and services. Since 2009, for the last seven years, CITIC Group has been named among the ‘500 largest companies in the world’; in 2015, it was ranked 186th. It implements projects in China and abroad, worth about $40 billion, with existing projects worth over $15 billion.
In Belarus, the company has already implemented the construction of three cement plants on a turn-key basis, and is now working to build the BelGee Automobile Plant and to modernise Orsha Linen Mill. This May, the company began constructing its multipurpose complex in Pobediteley Avenue, in Minsk, using its own investments.
In Belarus, the company has already implemented the construction of three cement plants on a turn-key basis, and is now working to build the BelGee Automobile Plant and to modernise Orsha Linen Mill
By Vasily Kharitonov