Posted: 18.05.2024 16:06:00

Golovchenko: companies from different countries, including unfriendly ones, continue joining Great Stone Industrial Park

Residents from different countries, including unfriendly ones, continue to join the Chinese-Belarusian Great Stone Industrial Park, as they are guided by reasonable thoughts and their views on future benefits – as stated by Belarus’ Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko during his today’s visit to the industrial park

“There is no need to push anyone, since residents from all countries are already actively coming here, including those who are conditionally unfriendly to us but are clearheaded and have their own plans. Therefore, there are no problems with attracting resident companies here. Moreover, the first stage of the park's development is already coming to an end. We need new territories that have already been allocated, but we should develop them. Accordingly, it is necessary to continue the development of the park's infrastructure,” the PM said.

Mr. Golovchenko stressed that residents from 14 countries currently work in the park, ‘including those who are conditionally viewed as unfriendly’, “Actually, we use this definition in relation to the authorities of these countries, not to their people or businesses. Therefore, our key residents are companies from China and the Russian Federation, and this is quite natural: the park is among the main points of industrial development of the One Belt, One Road initiative. Chinese, Russian technologies and the market of the Eurasian Economic Union are interfacing in Belarus, and this is quite normal, positive and organic.”

The PM noted that foreign companies continue to come to the Great Stone Industrial Park even under the conditions of all restrictions and sanctions, “These are companies from European and American countries that clearly understand the advantages of the project, primarily, the economic ones. They will not get similar business conditions anywhere in Europe. Accordingly, the costs here are significantly lower, even for the launch of a new production. Therefore, companies are joining with pleasure. The EAEU market is still serious and solvent. The interest here is absolutely pragmatic, and this is where we find the intersection of our interests.”

Mr. Golovchenko emphasised that Great Stone is a multifunctional project at present. “It unites an information and communication sphere, transport and logistics activities, and production. Over the period since the decision was made to create the park and all the governing documents that define its activities were adopted, certain changes have taken place. At the moment, the issues of import substitution and technological sovereignty have become even more urgent than before, and – during my today’s conversations with the company heads – I have focused on this aspect,” he said.

Speaking about the state's investments in the project development, the PM noted, “Only about 4 percent of all funds invested into the park have come from the Belarusian budget – and they have already paid off significantly. At least, due to tax payments alone, the park has returned to the country's budget three times more than it received.”

At the same time, Mr. Golovchenko stressed that it also matters which companies join the park, “Initially, those were the entities more involved in logistics and warehouse activities. There is now a great demand for production facilities: workshops have been built, production facilities have been either bought out or leased – and they enjoy demand. The company engaged into the park development plans to annually commission 12-20 thousand metres of production space (which are actually in demand).”

In addition, the PM said that the tasks which the park faces and the ones of the state will be increasingly synchronised. “At the first stage, it was important to make the park recognisable, to attract as many residents and investments from residents as possible – and the figure is already approaching $1bn. At present, it is more important to direct the development towards the area that the country needs. I think we will face no problems in this regard,” Mr. Golovchenko stressed.