Participation in Belt and Road roundtable summit in Beijing

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States should be committed to joint peaceful and mutually beneficial development, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the Leaders' Roundtable Summit at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on 15 May.

The Belarusian leader noted that today the world is experiencing active evolvement and global changes. These changes are associated with continuous challenges and risks.

“Among them is terrorism, migration crisis, dangerous communicable diseases, climate change and other new security threats. Moreover, the weakened global economic growth has a huge impact on deepening differences between countries. Disagreements are often settled with the use of weapons. That is why it is of high importance today to take a historical opportunity to change the model of interstate cooperation. Prosperity can be achieved only through joint peaceful and mutually beneficial development,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

The Belarusian President emphasized that the Belt and Road and the Community of Common Destiny global initiatives put forward by Chinese leader Xi Jinping are not just an idea of economic partnership. They are, first of all, a uniting philosophy of international cooperation. “These concepts do not envisage a hard-sell approach or trade expansion of countries. China comes as a friendly state, suggesting mechanisms to promote joint development,” the head of state said.

The One Belt, One Road project reshapes the global economic map, creates new points of growth, and develops new international relations. This is integration above blocs with a view to harmonize all economic institutions and remove barriers for free movement of goods, investment and people. “I am proud of the fact that Belarus has become Europe’s first country and one of the first states in the world to join the Silk Road Economic Belt project,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Belarus and China have been promoting together the GreatStoneIndustrial Park project as part of the Community of Common Destiny initiative. The park is being built as a city of the future: eco-friendly, innovative and comfortable for people to live and work. The two countries are developing both infrastructure and laws for this Silk Road Economic Belt hub.

The Belarusian head of state noted that the One Belt, One Road initiative is not just a trading route. It is a channel for the promotion of ideas and the joint development of innovations. “We fully support the idea voiced by Chinese President Xi Jinping about the need to develop technologies on the basis of national projects and are going by his principle: “It is impossible to build your future on someone’s past achievements,” the Belarusian leader said.

“Belarus has preserved and continues successfully developing its schools of exact sciences and digital technologies. We invite all the member-states to think of algorithms to unite their scientific potentials, set up centers for research and scientific exchange at the interstate level and with the state support,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. It is necessary to coordinate efforts to protect strategically important infrastructure of the government and commercial databases. “Today this is a matter of security for preserving the sovereignty of every state,” the head of state stressed.

“I would like to reiterate that Belarus is a reliable and responsible partner for China. The present relations between our countries testify to the fact. They are a comprehensive trustworthy strategic partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation. We are an open country. Neighborliness is Belarus’ major principle. Belarus is ready for cooperation for international development. Here and now, we should think about the present generation and be responsible for our children and grandchildren,” the Belarusian head of state said.

On the sidelines of the forum Aleksandr Lukashenko also held talks with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The parties discussed the progress in the implementation of the earlier-reached agreements and also the prospects for cooperation between the two states in different areas.

In particular, the two countries are set to intensify efforts on setting up joint plants to assemble harvesters and automotive equipment. The two leaders also talked over the development of the security situation in the region.

The presidents agreed that in the near future the joint intergovernmental commission will hold a meeting, which was postponed for a long time due to the internal situation in Turkey.

On 15 May, Aleksandr Lukashenko also met with CITIC Group Chairman of the Board Chang Zhenming. The negotiations were attended by heads of crucial divisions of the corporation.

The head of state remarked that he had heard a lot about CITIC Group and had familiarized himself with many good projects of this company. However, he always wanted to know why the company had not been fully involved in business in Belarus yet. “Yes, you implement projects in our country. I know them very well, I look at some of your projects twice a day when I drive past the construction site. However, it is a drop in the ocean for such a big company as yours,” the Belarusian leader believes.

The President encouraged senior executives of the corporation to analyze various forms of doing business in Belarus which can be launched in the near future. “Tell us what we should do,” he said. “There are a few problems concerning the projects we are working on with you. Please tell us where such problems exist, in your opinion.”

After the talks CITIC Group decided to launch new projects in Belarus. The Chinese company will invest in agribusiness, agriculture, and petrochemistry.