China-Belarus economic zone hopes to achieve sustainable development
The China-Belarus Industrial Park has been attracting increasing amounts of global investment since the completion of infrastructure construction in the zone.
By May 2018, 36 companies had registered in the park and signed agreements to invest a total of $1.1 billion.
"We hope to attract high-value-added high-tech companies that are capable of achieving sustainable development, especially those that can fill the void in the Belarusian economy," said Li Haixin, director-general of the China-Belarus Industrial Park Development Co.
Among the 36 companies, 20 come from China, 10 from Belarus, and six from other parts of Europe and the United States. The companies cover a range of high-tech industries, such as electronics, biotechnology, new materials and mechanical engineering.
"To build an internationalized industrial park, we are actively extending our influence to nearby regions, particularly Europe. The number of regional commissions visiting the industrial park has been on the rise recently," Li said.
Six companies are currently operating in the zone, and the number will increase to 10 at the end of this year, he said. Chinese companies already settled in the park include Bel Huawei Technologies LLC, ZTE Corp and China Merchants Group.
"The first phase of construction of the industrial park, covering an area of 8.5 square kilometers, is expected to finish in 2020. According to our estimates, it will be able to host 70 to 100 companies by then, with contracted investment totaling $2 billion to $2.5 billion," he said.
Enterprises that register in the park, with their effective management located in Belarus, will enjoy preferential tax policies. They will be exempt from corporate income tax for 10 years after their first profit, and will pay significantly reduced tax rates after the 10 years until 2062.
The personal income tax rate for their employees will be 9 percent until Jan 1, 2027, compared with 13 percent for Belarusian companies outside the industrial park.
Covering 91.5 square kilometers in total, the China-Belarus Industrial Park, also known as the Great Stone Industrial Park, is the largest China-invested overseas economic and trade park.
Construction of the park, which is a five-minute drive from the Minsk National Airport, formally started in March 2016.