Posted: 23.10.2023 13:40:00

Expert explains why Belarus benefits from participating in Belt and Road Initiative

Participation in the Belt and Road Initiative provides Belarus with undoubted economic benefits, including helping to develop sovereignly – as noted by political scientist Vadim Borovik in his talk with Alfa Radio

In 2023, the Belt and Road Initiative celebrates its 10th anniversary, with Belarus and Russia supporting the development of the Chinese initiative by combining it with other international integration formats: the Union State, the EAEU, the SCO, and BRICS.

“This is an absolutely correct joint initiative, which primarily enables us not to use someone else’s model,” underlined Vadim Borovik. “There is a country that today is trying to impose a certain pattern of behaviour on everyone in all aspects: economic, financial, political [the USA]. What allows a country to be a sovereign state and feel confident in the international arena? First of all, diversification of exports and imports. A country that becomes dependent, e.g., on one energy or one export market, becomes more vulnerable. It’s vital to correctly build one’s own foreign policy and trade-economic relations, relying on different centres of power, while, naturally, having strategic partners. For us, this is the harmonious market of the Union State. Here, of course, we’re more focused on mutual trade and create maximum preferences for each other. At the same time, we understand that in terms of purchasing power parity the Chinese economy is ranked first worldwide, and in absolute numbers it is placed second. It has enormous potential and is developing dynamically. Of course, it is absolutely normal for us to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative. This benefits us, and we provide the most convenient logistics for the transit of goods through our territory.”

The political analyst added that Belarus is subject to unprecedented pressure from the collective West, so BRI helps us survive, “Participation in this project enables us to neutralise the negative effect of sanctions. This is a profitable initiative. Look how our trade with China has grown this year. Our exports have also increased significantly. Moreover, given the good relations at the level of top officials of our states, trade turnover will continue to grow. We receive technology and investments from China... Soon a stadium and a swimming pool will be completed in Minsk. The Great Stone Industrial Park is a strategic project in terms of high technology development.”