Meeting with Chinese Deputy Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan

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Belarus views China as a reliable partner. The development of relations with this country was and still is a strategic priority of Belarus’ foreign policy, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Chinese Deputy Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan on 17 April.

The head of state remarked that the program of developing all-round strategic partnership designed to run until 2018 is the main cooperation document for Belarus and the People’s Republic of China. “Trade and economic relations are the main priority. We are determined to boost our trade turnover and, first of all, to raise the export to the People’s Republic of China,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President noted that the contacts have been increasingly vibrant in the past several years and especially months. For instance, the First Vice Premier of the State Council of China and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China have recently visited Belarus. Belarusian officials have also made a number of trips to China. “Our country views China as a reliable partner. The development of relations with this country was and still is a strategic priority of Belarus’ foreign policy,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.

The Belarusian leader said that Belarus and China have a high level of credit and investment cooperation. “But today it is very important to shift from this credit cooperation to investment cooperation,” the President believes. As an example, Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned two high-profile investment projects to produce automobiles jointly with the Chinese company Geely and to build the Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park.

According to the head of state, the Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park Great Stone should be an important platform of the initiative of China President Xi Jinping to build the Economic Belt of the Silk Road connecting Asia and Europe. The President said that Belarus supports the initiative and is ready to take part in the implementation of all provisions of Xi Jinping’s concept One Belt, One Road (the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century).

The meeting also focused on the preparations for the visit of the Chinese President to Belarus. The Belarusian side is completely prepared for it, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. The President expressed confidence that Xi Jinping’s visit to Belarus will be a most important foreign policy event. “It will demonstrate our consistency in implementing principles of comprehensive strategic partnership for the benefit of the two nations before the entire world,” the Belarusian head of state stressed.

At the meeting Aleksandr Lukashenko said that it is necessary to determine concrete avenues of cooperation. According to the Belarusian leader, it should help make the visit of the China president to Belarus more effective and filled with concrete content.

Zhong Shan,in turn, conveyed sincere greetings and best wishes on behalf of the China president to Aleksandr Lukashenko. The Deputy Minister of commerce added that the Chinese side draws much attention to the development of the industrial park construction project. It is a strategic project of bilateral cooperation. Belarus and China unanimously believe that this is a pilot project in the joint formation of the Silk Road Economic Belt.