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China to consider $1bn loan for Belarus

Joint construction of the economic belt of the Silk Road, investment opportunities worth billions of dollars and prospects for introducing a visa-free regime. These topics were discussed during the working visit of the President of Belarus to China.

The final chord was the meeting of Alexander Lukashenko with the Chairman of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping. The heads of state discussed the results of the Beijing forum "One Belt, One Road", as well as key issues of bilateral relations.

China will consider the possibility of allocating a loan to Belarus to complete the modernization of oil refineries.

Cooperation in the construction of social housing in Belarus will also continue.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
That large-scale event, which you conducted, deserves the most serious attention. And this event is already being discussed all over the world. I think that everything is still ahead. This is a very powerful step that you were able to make, and, most importantly, you brought together more than 100 countries and states of our planet.

I said yesterday that we are proud that we were the first in Europe and one of the first in the world to not only support the idea of ​​"One Belt, One Road", but to start implementing this large-scale project in Belarus. You saw it all.

The brightest and most powerful (I have not seen this in more than 20 years of work, I publicly said it on the sidelines and during the summit itself) was your opening remarks.

We took this statement and will analyze it at home.

This is a role model for any head of state. It was a large-scale and very concrete speech, encouraging everyone who was present there. All the heads of state. I'm not saying this for flattery, it's really my opinion.

On the eve of the visit, the President of Belarus signed a decree on new working conditions for residents in the Chinese-Belarusian industrial park "The Great Stone".

Kiryl Rudy, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the People's Republic of China:
The number of activities that can be considered high-tech and thanks to which companies may qualify for benefits within the Park was expanded. In addition, the status of the Park's management was increased. Now the head is appointed directly by the head of state.

Also, environmental standards were raised to the highest which are in the European Union.

The document was worked on by both Belarusian and Chinese specialists. The President, in his conversation with the PRC Chairman, expressed confidence that the "Great Stone" would become an exemplary project in removing trade barriers. During the talks, the leaders agreed that

there is an opportunity to introduce mutual visa-free visits in both states for up to 30 days.

The competent authorities of the two countries were instructed to study this topic in detail. Now tourist groups, owners of diplomatic or service passports can travel to our countries freely. In addition, China is on the list of 80 states whose citizens can stay in Belarus without a visa for five days.

Today, the issue of security and the preservation of sovereignty is pressing for many countries. Belarus in fact supports China, which has undertaken to protect world peace. Servicemen of our states conduct joint exercises and anti-terrorist training.

China grants Belarus military equipment for free. Also, banks of China for "symbolic" percentage provide Belarus with financial help.

These days, agreements have been signed for the implementation of three projects in engineering worth $340 million.

By the way, more than 30 projects in Belarus are financed by Chinese banks and the government of the PRC, with about 6 billion dollars involved.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Those negotiations on the sidelines of the summit were very useful for each head of state. Nobody here wasted time. Each of our meetings with you is a special meeting, especially this one, in the year of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of our special diplomatic relations.

China will consider the possibility of issuing a loan of $1 billion to Belarus to complete the modernization of oil refineries. Plans to upgrade Belarusian refineries are technically complicated. Technology owners are mostly European and American companies, so the result depends on the provision of unrelated loans.

Xi Jinping, chairman of the Chinese People's Republic:
Today we met, I am very happy about this. During the forum, we discussed the role of Belarus in the implementation of the "One Belt, One Road" initiative. Your country has made a huge contribution. Today, our countries have established comprehensive cooperation, moreover, it is stable. Our dialogue has reached a new stage, and now new perspectives are opening up.

Belarus has preserved and is developing exact sciences and digital technologies. Chinese capital is ready to finance promising high-tech projects.

These days Belarus and China signed an agreement on the creation of the Chinese-Belarusian Venture Fund "The Great Stone".

Its capital is 20 million dollars.

Alexander Shumilin, head of the State Committee for Science and Technology of the Republic of Belarus:
In the summer, we plan to prepare the constituent documents. The basic decisions have already been made. We plan to set up a fund before September 1, I think. And at the same time we are looking for venture projects to be financed by the Belarusian-Chinese fund this year.

China will continue the project to build social housing in Belarus.

This decision was made during negotiations by the leaders of Belarus and China. The agreement was included in the intergovernmental deal on technical and economic assistance. From the Belarusian side, the Minister of Economy signed the document.

Following the talks, the heads of state concluded an intergovernmental agreement on the development of international cargo transportation and cooperation in implementing the concept of building the economic belt of the Silk Road.

At the end of the meeting, Alexander Lukashenko and Xi Jinping exchanged gifts.

China has significantly improved its well-being recently. The nation itself has become more open. The friendly and trusting relations between Minsk and Beijing help our countries create an industrial, logistics and digital platform in the center of Europe.

Olga Yurut, CTV:
The meeting of Alexander Lukashenko and Xi Jinping is always a special event we, journalists, are closely watching. The true success of the agreements can become visible after a while after the implementation of bold ideas and bright projects.

China to consider $1bn loan for Belarus