On July 2, the first Forum for Cooperation and Regional Development of the countries participating in the international “Belt and Road Initiative” was held in Minsk. The event gathered 700 participants including representatives of companies, scientific organizations, and government bodies and institutions from 30 countries. The Great Stone Industrial Park was an excellent venue for the event that perfectly suited the participants. After all, the purpose of this Chinese-Belarusian industrial park is to create a conducive international business environment. The topic of discussion was cooperation regarding the development of New Silk Road Countries’ transport logistics, technical innovation, and financial sectors.
AsstrA is an active participant in the Belt and Road Initiative, so the company’s representatives could not miss such an event. Vyacheslav Gural, Asia Regional Director at AsstrA, shares his impressions.
“In Spring 2019, the Belt and Road Global Cooperation Forum was held in Beijing. In continuation of this event, participants interested in developing similar initiatives in the CIS held a meeting in this industrial park. For Belarus, this is the first event of this kind. The Great Stone Industrial Park was not chosen as the forum’s venue by chance. It is one of the key reference points for the New Silk Road. With the company slogan "Connected by the New Silk Road" this year, AsstrA’s attendance was a foregone conclusion.
Speakers at the forum addressed the future of the Belarusian-Chinese park, its development, upcoming challenges and prospects. The panel sections discussed more specific topics like innovation and technologies, the interaction of transport and logistics systems, and railways’ role in China-Europe-China trade. In addition, during the forum there was an exhibition of Belarusian and Chinese enterprises, including residents of the industrial park. AsstrA's participation in the forum and visiting the exhibition allowed the company to expand and strengthen existing business contacts as well as establish new ones.
Regarding my general impressions, I was pleasantly surprised by the park’s dynamic growth. As one of the largest Belt and Road Initiative investment projects, the park has high chances of becoming the ‘’pearl’’ of the New Silk Road economy. Global logistics infrastructure and “subparks” of Chinese provinces are being swiftly created. Consulting and financial support will be available shortly, and there are good conditions for creating, running, and developing a business.”
Viktoria Ignatovich, Sales Department Specialist for the Asia Focus Department, describes the event:
“The visit allowed us to assess the potential and development prospects of the park as a dry port. The prospects for the New Silk Road concept were also discussed at the forum. The participants held talks that will soon grow into new projects, possibly with the participation of AsstrA as a 3PL provider. It is important to be in the very center of the “Belt and Road” and to understand where AsstrA services will be useful to all players, whether or not they are residents of this park.
It was possible to conduct productive discussions with the following Great Stone Park residents: Chinese Railway Construction Corporation No. 9, Zumlion Rus-Bel, WiTiOu Technology BiEler, and the China Machinery Industry Construction Group Inc. We also had time to talk with the corporate partner of China Merchants HBC-BiElAr Commercial and Logistics Company and discuss further areas of cooperation.
The format of the exhibition was different than what you normally find in Belarus. It was a pleasant surprise. By participating in such events, AsstrA is the first to know about market trends and prospects and can offer according benefits to customers.”