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Sinomach sets up new zone in Belarus park

By Zhong Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-13 09:11
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Employees assemble diesel engines in the China-Belarus Industrial Park in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. [Photo/Xinhua]

China National Machinery Industry Corp, the country's largest machinery maker by production capacity, started work on a new industrial zone within the China-Belarus Industrial Park-one of China's largest outbound investment projects-on Tuesday, a further testimony to the enhanced bilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The centrally-administrated State-owned enterprise, known as Sinomach, will establish a research and development facility to help more domestic firms participate in technology collaboration with partners in Belarus, and transfer scientific research achievements into products and industrial solutions.

Zhang Xiaolun, chairman of Sinomach, said in the next step, the company's new zone and the China-Belarus Industrial Park will be oriented toward industrialization, globalization, digitization and ecology, as well as focus on boosting innovation and high-end manufacturing to improve and upgrade the Belarus economy.

Zhang said the park's first phase, spreading over an area of 8.5 square kilometers which was completed on Tuesday, has an operational area formed by 32 kilometers of roads, power, water and gas supply facilities, sewage sorting system and telecommunication networks. It can host over 100 companies.

The park hopes to attract more companies from sectors like electronics and communications, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, biotechnology, machinery manufacturing, new materials, integrated logistics, e-commerce, big data storage and processing from all over the world to garner more high-quality foreign investment.

"At the crossroads of an important trade route linking the Baltic Sea with the Black Sea, and Russia to the European Union, the China-Belarus Industrial Park will continue to serve as an important innovation, manufacturing, logistics, technology services and innovation hub for the growth of the BRI," said Feng Hao, a researcher at the National Development and Reform Commission's Institute of Comprehensive Transportation.

Located 40 kilometers from the Belarusian capital of Minsk, and with the Moscow-Berlin highway and the capital's airport easily accessible, the industrial park will further benefit from its convenient transportation links, Feng said.

Despite the temporary difficulties posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, Belarus-China cooperation in all areas will continue to develop, said Alexander Yaroshenko, head of the administration of the China-Belarus Industrial Park.

Noting that Belarus and China are strategic partners, Yaroshenko said bilateral relations based on trust and mutual benefit show that the two countries are ready to help and support each other at this difficult time.

On May 12, 2015, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the future site of the industrial park, the largest cooperation project between the two countries, Yaroshenko recalled.

Since then, the park has brought together 60 companies from 15 countries, including the United States, Austria, Lithuania, Germany, Switzerland and Russia. Wellknown Chinese groups such as Huawei Technologies Co, ZTE Corp, China Merchants Group and Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co have entered the park, he said, adding the volume of declared investments has now reached $1.2 billion.

The park's administration will develop the park together with its Chinese partners and participants from other countries, especially in priority areas such as pharmaceuticals, said Yaroshenko, stressing China has rich experience in the treatment and prevention of various diseases.

"China's fast-growing digital and 5G technologies will also provide a solid foundation for its manufacturers going forward. This will benefit greener, more efficient and sustainable industrial development in the park," said Ma Yu, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation in Beijing.

Belarus is an important member of the Eurasian Economic Union, connecting the Eurasian economy with the European Union. This gives companies residing in the park the Eurasian Economic Union Customs Code's maximum possible volume of customs advantages and simplifications in the areas of logistics and manufacturing, he said.

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