Belarus-Chinese Special Economic Zone To Open In Vitebsk
SEZ To Attract Chinese Investors Looking At EU & EU Investors Looking At Russia
Belarussia’s Bremino Group and China’s Shaanxi Zhongqiao Silk Road Technology Development Company are to jointly develop an “International Silk Road Trade Center” in
Bolbasovo, Orsha District, Vitebsk Oblast in Belarus.
The facility, which is expected to be 62 hectares in size will be sited within the Bremino-Orsha SEZ, and will offer outlets for wholesale and retail trade in consumer goods. It will also provide freight delivery and warehousing services, online trade operations, and opportunities for showcasing products from various Belt & Road Initiative countries, and is being implemented within the framework of the Belt and Road initiative.
Over US$60 million will be invested in the project. Resident companies are entitled to certain tax preferences and advantages: no income tax for 9 years; no real estate tax for 20 years; no tax on dividends till 1 January 2033, 5% tax on royalties until 1 January 2028, and various other advantages.
The SEZ is the second China invested site of this type in Belarus, after the Great Stone Industrial Park located on the outskirts of Minsk. Vitebsk is close to the Russian border, and as Belarus is a member along with Russia of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), goods produced in the country can be exported to Russia and other EAEU member states. This has significance for the Chinese investors, and should also be a signal for other foreign investors as China has a Free Trade Agreement with the EAEU. At present this is non-preferential, but as soon as tariffs are agreed on a variety of products, exports to and imports from China on a wide range of items can be expected to be duty free or at preferential rates.
This also has investment implications for EU manufacturers interested in the Russian, EAEU and Chinese markets as Belarus shares borders with Latvia, Lithuania and Poland – all EU member states. Vitebsk has an airport, and is connected by road and rail through to Moscow and the EU.
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