-- Brief introduction
In the eastern suburb of Belarus's capital city Minsk sits the China-Belarus Industrial Park. Founded in 2010 at the joint proposal of Chinese and Belarusian presidents, it is the largest foreign investment project in the country and is hailed as a "pearl" along the Belt and Road. Conveniently located as an important node of the Silk Road Economic Belt, the industrial park is right at the juncture between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union, making it a transportation and logistics hub of Europe and Asia.
Photo taken on April 17, 2017, shows the "Great Stone" standing at the entrance of China-Belarus Industrial Park. (Xinhua)
In July 2013, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko chose a grand name for China-Belarus Industrial Park — Great Stone. President Lukashenko expressed many times his hope "to develop China-Belarus Industrial Park into a cornerstone for the friendship of the two peoples."
The China-Belarus industrial park is a territorial entity with the area of 91,5 sq. km with a special legal status conducive to doing business. The Park is located 25 km from Minsk, the capital of the Republic of Belarus, in a unique natural complex and in close proximity to the international airport, railway lines, and the Berlin-Moscow transnational highway.
-- Development planning
In the Park territory construction is planned for production and living areas, offices and shopping malls, financial services, and research centers. All an all, Great Stone will be a modern international eco-city with an emphasis on high-tech and competitive innovation productions with high export potential. The project is being developed within the framework of the China-Belarus intergovernmental cooperation according to intergovernmental agreements. Any company regardless of country of capital origin can act as a resident of the industrial park. Realizing intense competition for an investor in the world market, the state has created a favorable investment climate for industrial park residents, as guaranteed by the national law, special international agreements and obligations and has provided unprecedented benefits and preferences and formed a separate and independent state administration body which carries out “one station” administrative end-to-end investor servicing. In addition, the industrial park will offer ready engineering and transport infrastructure provided by the management company, ample opportunities of 170 millionth duty free market of the Customs Union of Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan, as well as of neighboring European countries, good geographical location, optimizing time and transportation costs, disciplined and qualified staff of Belarusian labor market.
Being designated for high-tech industrial and business activities from all over the world, the park offers easy access to International Highways M1/E30 and M4, international airport (included into the park territory), international railways and the capital of Belarus with its labour and scientific potential. Park`s tax benefits, free customs regime within the countries of EAEU, including Russia and Kazakhstan open market opportunities for about 183 million of customers.
The Great Stone industrial park opens its own exhibition during the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, east China, on Nov. 6, 2019. (Provided to Xinhua)
Great Stone is a model project on cooperation between Belarus and China as well as the largest industrial park created outside of China. The project is implemented within intergovernmental cooperation and relevant intergovernmental agreements. The project is based on the experience of China-Singapore Industrial Park in Suzhou. Taking into consideration special requirements and expectations the Park is going to be modern smart eco-city with developed transport infrastructure. It will perfectly balance industrial, residential as well as rest and recreation zones.
-- Preferential policies
Any company regardless of country of origin can be registered as a resident of the industrial park.
Realizing intense competition for an investor in the world market, the state has created a favorable investment climate for industrial park residents, as guaranteed by the national law, special international agreements and obligations; has provided unique incentives, has formed a separate and independent state body which carries out administrative end-to-end servicing on the basis of "one stop-shop" principle.
According to the special Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus as of May 12, 2017 residents enjoy the following incentives:
10 years tax holiday on corporate income tax. Later on 50% discount is applied;
50 years tax holiday on property tax and land tax (till 2062);
5 years tax holiday on dividend tax;
9% individual income tax rate for residents employees (instead of 13% rate set in the Republic of Belarus);
VISA-free regime for up to 180 days;
Grandfather clause (guarantee of unchanged business environment).
Coming to the Park an investor receives a ready transport and engineering infrastructure connected with the selected land plot. Industrial Park Development Company is responsible for the construction of infrastructure.
In order to use the best practices on the territory of the Park, there is possibility to make a design project according to technical standards of foreign countries in case they meet some basic requirements.
An investor can lease a land plots on the territory of the Park up to 99 years or purchase it. Rent and sale of land plots is carried out by the development company.
Mechanical engineering, Biotechnology, Storage and processing of large amounts of data, Socio-cultural activities, Electronics, New materials, Implementation of research, development and technological works, Fine chemistry, Logistics, Pharmaceuticals, E-commerce
-- Management structure
The Park has three level management structure:
Intergovernmental Coordination Council (superior body, exercising strategic management, defining bilateral cooperation policy and functioning on the basis of international treaty);
Industrial Park Administration (state institution, established by the Government of the Republic of Belarus) servicing investors on the basis of ”one-stop shop“ principle, representing the Park interests in state bodies and local authorities,;
Development Company (closed joint stock company), responsible for design and construction of the Park infrastructure, organization of public services, attraction of investors/.
Industrial Park regulatory acts are the following ones:
Law of the Republic of Belarus as of January 7, 2012 № 348-З "On ratification of Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the People's Republic of China about China-Belarus Industrial Park";
Edict of the President of the Republic of Belarus ”On the activity of China-Belarus industrial park ”Industrial park ”Great stone“ as of June 30,2014 № 326;
Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus as of August 16, 2012 № 756 "On some issues of China-Belarus Industrial Park", which validated the regulation on industrial park and the charter of its administration;
Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of May 12, 2017 No 166 "On the improvement of the special legal regime of the China-Belarus industrial park "Great Stone"
From the very beginning, logistics was the Great Stone Industrial Park growth engine. The project on the construction of logistic sub-park is implementing by the biggest owner of ports and vessels in the world - China Merchants Group. Later on in April, 2018 the company operating the Silk Road final point – Duisburg port - became a shareholder of the Great Stone Development Company. With Duisburger Hafen AG participation a project on the construction of Intermodal rail terminal will be implemented in the park.
In Great Stone Industrial Park the scientific environment will also be developed. At present moment the innovation centre has been created. . To support financially start-ups and other innovative and efficient projects special program "Spark" was created.