Pure trade shifts towards more substantial projects

Belarus already implementing $6bn of investment projects jointly with China, with many more planned

By Oksana Shikunova

On meeting China’s Deputy Minister of Commerce, Chen Jian, in Minsk, Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister, Anatoly Tozik, has stressed that Belarus and China are implementing joint projects worth almost $6bn, of which $3.5bn is on loan from Chinese banks. Speaking of specific projects, Mr. Tozik mentioned Minsk’s TPP-2 — commissioned on June 29th. “This is the first successful project in the field of energy being realised jointly with a Chinese corporation,” he said, adding that, in September 2011, another major project will be implemented at Minsk’s TPP-5.

Over 20 Chinese corporation and subsidiary offices operate in Belarus at present. According to Mr. Tozik, Belarus and China have reached a new phase in their bilateral relations: the opening of joint companies and implementation of mutually beneficial projects using direct investments. In his words, the joint venture producing white goods — Midea-Horizont — is quite a success in Belarus. “In the near future, we plan to reach production of three million microwave ovens, while building several more plants to produce household appliances in Belarus,” Mr. Tozik stressed. A joint company producing hydro-mechanical transmissions for heavy trucks has also been set up in Belarus.

Joint companies using Belarusian capital also operate in China, such as one joint venture producing chassis for heavy trucks — including military machinery, which has been there for almost 15 years. A joint facility to produce dump trucks has been established and, in Harbin, we have joint production of forage harvesters; this year, over 1,000 vehicles will be produced there. Moreover, the joint assembly of high powered tractors has been launched; according to Mr. Tozik, this machinery has good prospects on the Chinese market.

Mr. Tozik stressed positive trends in the two states’ mutual trade, saying, “In 2005, figures reached $800m. This year, trade is expected to reach $3bn.” He noted that our countries have recently shifted from pure trade to the realisation of major investment projects.

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