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  • Through the back gate: logistics of Belarus-China cooperation

  • 2023 March 3

    From Whom: Vitaliy Chernov


    About: Through the back gate: logistics of Belarus-China cooperation

    Through the back gate: logistics of Belarus-China cooperation

    Belarus and China will create a zone of free trade and investments this year, according to the Economy Ministry of Belarus. Besides, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko invites the authorities of the People's Republic of China to align the industrial policies of Belarus, Russia and China.

    Belarus’ Great Stone Industrial Park established in 2012 under an intergovernmental agreement with China (the construction began in 2014) is already considered to be an essential element of the Chinese “One Belt, One Road” initiative. Various privileges are offered to the park residents.

    Indeed, the markets of Russia and Belarus covered by the western sanctions can now welcome more products of the Chinese industry. Assembly plants in the territory of the Customs Union (which includes Belarus) will let Chinese manufacturers enjoy privileges in the markets of the Union. As for Russia, it is in dire need of local facilities for production of components required by various industries, from the automotive to the shipbuilding one.

    The logistics of equipment supplies to the Great Stone has two major ways - by railway across Russia and by sea via the North-Western and Southern ports. However, transportation by rail, is hindered by insufficient capacity, while the recent decrease of freight rates for sea transportation of containers and excessive container facilities in the North-West of Russia (first of all, in Great Port of Saint-Petersburg) create good prerequisites for the development of the sea route and even for the organization of a regular container line from China. The more so as Belarus is actively using multipurpose terminal Bronka in Saint-Petersburg, which can be particularly used for these purposes.

    As for back load, Belarus covered by the sanctions already sends fertilizers to China in containers using the Russian railways. So, a more active supply of containerized fertilizers can be considered, the more so as Belarus is negotiating the increased supplies of fertilizers to China.