MINSK, 11 January (BelTA) – For the past 30 years, Belarus and China have reached the highest point of cooperation: ironclad brotherhood and all-weather partnership, Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Snopkov told the media on 10 January, BelTA has learned.
Nikolai Snopkov noted that a very important telephone conversation between the leaders of Belarus and China took place on 10 January. After such conversations, bilateral relations gain an additional momentum. In this latest case, a new paradigm was set for the relations, Nikolai Snopkov noted. “The most important result, in my opinion, is that the leaders decided to raise the level of cooperation to ironclad brotherhood and all-weather partnership in order to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. These are not just words, but in fact the highest point in relations,” he stressed.
He noted that in 30 years, which is a short period in the history of diplomatic relations, Belarus and China have gone from scratch to the highest point. “That was very fast and very important for us,” Nikolai Snopkov noted said. He stated that bilateral relations are based on the common ideology of the development of society and the country: “Two countries prioritize the well-being of citizens in their social and economic policies.”
Speaking about the importance of the strategic partnership with China for Belarus, the first deputy prime minister noted that, according to international estimates, China will be the number one economy by 2028. Belarus is an exemplary partner in the global Belt and Road project.
For 30 years, the countries have carried out at least 25 projects in industry and energy sectors for almost $5 billion. Four projects worth about $2.5 billion are currently being implemented.”Over the past 10 years, a quarter of Belarus’ GDP growth has been achieved through China’s investment. For 30 years, China’s accumulated investments in Belarus have exceeded $2 billion, of which more than $1 billion was direct investments of China,” Nikolai Snopkov noted. He also mentioned technical and economic assistance projects. In fact, this means gratuitous assistance from China to Belarus: over 30 years it has amounted to more than $500 million.
For example, China is financing two large-scale projects to build sports facilities (a stadium and a swimming pool in Minsk) and also social housing construction projects (more than 265,000 square meters of housing will be built in three stages).
China has become Belarus’ second biggest trading partner. Belarus’ export, especially supplies of food products, to China increases by 20-25% every year.
Over 134 Belarusian companies have been certified to export products to China. It is clear that the Chinese market is very vast but it is not easy to access and you need to plan long ahead and interact systemically with Chinese partners. Trust is very important for them, Nikolai Snopkov said. Serious market research is also important. “China is not an easy market to tap, but it is a very capacious one, and it can consume a lot, especially when it comes to high-quality Belarusian products. The Chinese are very fond of Belarusian products and have repeatedly said at all levels that they are ready to buy a lot of them. We just need to know how to sell our products,” he said. According to him, certification of Belarusian chilled beef, meal and baby dairy food by Chinese authorities is in the home stretch. “These are important export-capital intensive products,” the first deputy prime minister said.
He also provided some details of the telephone conversation between the two leaders. China will continue financial support of development projects in Belarus. Large-scale projects will be continued in education.
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Chinese President Xi Jinping held phone talks on 10 January.
The heads of state discussed a wide range of issues on the international, bilateral and domestic agendas.
The leaders exchanged greetings on the occasion of 30 years of diplomatic relations between Belarus and China. In this regard. The two heads of state discussed in detail the projects currently underway and opportunities for expanding cooperation in many areas. The parties agreed to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation between the countries and promote the Chinese-Belarusian comprehensive strategic partnership to achieve new results.
China and Belarus effectively cooperate in multilateral organizations and firmly support each other in protecting their core interests, which reflects the strategic value of Chinese-Belarusian cooperation.