Posted: 15.09.2022 17:43:00

Lukashenko, Xi Jinping met in Samarkand

The President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, and the President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, met in Samarkand. The state leaders had come to Uzbekistan to participate in the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation summit on September 15th-16th, BelTA reports.

Photo by Pul Pervogo telegramm channel 

Belarus’ Head of State met with Xi Jinping eleven times: during his visits to China in 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, on the side-lines of the Tashkent (2016), Astana (2017) and Bishkek (2019) SCO summits, and also during Xi Jinping’s visit to Belarus in 2015.

In September 2016, the leaders of Belarus and China established relations of trust-based comprehensive strategic partnership and mutually beneficial co-operation. An agreement in principle was reached to raise the level to ‘iron brotherhood, exemplary comprehensive strategic co-operation and all-weather partnership’.

In order to solve the priority tasks of developing relations with Beijing and bringing practical co-operation to a qualitatively new level, Directive No. 9 On Development of Bilateral Relations between the Republic of Belarus and the People's Republic of China was signed by the President of Belarus on December 3rd, 2021.

China is traditionally among the top three major trading partners of Belarus. In 2021, the country’s trade turnover with China reached $5.1bn (111.5 percent against 2020): exports made $911.9m (117.3 percent) and imports – $4.19bn (110.3 percent). In January-July 2022, the volume of trade in goods amounted to $3.07bn (110.2 percent against the same period in 2021), with exports reaching $943.3m (198.9 percent) and imports – $2.13bn (92.4 percent).

The main points of export growth include potash fertilisers, frozen beef, meat and edible poultry by-products, sawn timber, condensed and dry milk and cream, specific goods, and whey. The structure of Belarusian exports features a vivid advantage in the supply of food and agricultural products. Belarus is among top ten suppliers of potash fertilisers (3rd place), whey (5th), meat products (chicken and beef (7th and 9th places), rapeseed oil (11th) to China.

As of August 1st, 2022, 162 Belarusian manufacturers were accredited to supply their products to China. 63 of them produce dairy products, 18 supply frozen beef, 11 – frozen chicken meat, 9 – frozen berries, and 7 – processed fish products. More than 20 manufacturers represent confectionery, alcohol and other areas of the food industry.

By the end of 2021, the volume of investments from China to Belarus amounted to $109.2m (104.5 percent against 2020), including $74.8m (137.6 percent) of direct investments. There has been a significant increase in investment activity in 2022.

In 2021, more than 50 investment projects were implemented in Belarus with participation of Chinese companies. Forty-four of them took place in the Great Stone Industrial Park, and the latter accounts for the main inflow of investments. All participants invested $753.7m in the project, while the share of budget investments was minimal: 5 percent, or about $35.6m. In order to improve legal regulation and investment climate of the park, a Presidential decree was adopted on June 11th, 2021, providing for the expansion of activities, support for start-ups and creation of preferential conditions for large investment projects. As of August 10th, 2022, ninety-three residents from 15 countries were registered in the Great Stone Park, including 46 with Chinese capital. The total amount of the declared investments made $1.25bn. In 2022, eight new residents have been registered, of which four use Chinese capital.

Belarus’ co-operation with China in the credit and financial sphere is also actively developing. At the expense of Chinese government loans under the existing credit agreements, 25 projects totalling almost $4.73bn have been implemented; four projects worth $2.26bn are under implementation.

A number of projects in the field of technical and economic assistance are also being implemented, and three key areas of co-operation have been identified for the mid-term until 2025: National Football Stadium and International Standard Swimming Pool projects; support for the development of the Great Stone Industrial Park; and promotion of stability and security.