Belarus and countries of Asia, Australia and Oceania
Development of cooperation with the countries of the South, East and Southeast Asia is an important direction of the multi-vector foreign policy of Belarus.
The Asian region is an absolute priority for Belarus, primarily, as a capacious, promising and rapidly expanding market for Belarusian goods and services, and a promising source of investments in the Belarusian economy.
Simultaneously, the countries of the region import a wide range of products similar to those produced in the Republic of Belarus. There are objective prerequisites for the promotion of Belarusian goods and services.
Certain countries of the region are among the world leaders in terms of direct investments abroad, which can help the Republic of Belarus develop the promising sectors of the national economy.
There are mechanisms created with those countries for interaction at the political level, ongoing inter-parliamentary cooperation and dialogue evolving in the spheres of trade and economy, industry, science and technologies, culture, education, etc.
Belarus has a solid normative and legislative basis of cooperation with the countries of the region that continues to expand with new agreements being added in promising areas.
Belarus enjoys an effective cooperation with the countries of the region within international organizations, including the exchange of reciprocal support on fundamental issues.
Traditionally, the key direction of Belarus' foreign policy in Asia is the deepening of strategic partnership with China. In September 2022, on the margins of the summit of the heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States in Samarkand, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping decided to raise the level of bilateral relations to an all-weather and comprehensive strategic partnership.
Minsk and Beijing have mechanisms for regular exchanges of top-level visits, an active ongoing inter-parliamentary dialogue, well-functioning Belarusian-Chinese Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee, dynamically developing inter-agency and inter-regional contacts.
The Republic of Belarus intends to become a lead regional participant in the Belt and Road Initiative. In April 2019, President of the Republic of Belarus A.Lukashenko took part in the second international forum “Belt and Road” in Beijing.
The "Great Stone" industrial park plays a special role as an international high-tech project open to new foreign investors. As of January 2023, 100 residents from 15 countries are registered in the Industrial Park.
There is a progressively developing cooperation between Belarus and India. On September 17, 2021 the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Vladimir Makei, met with the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, on the sidelines of the SCO Heads of State Council in Dushanbe.
On September 25, 2019 the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, V.Makei, met with the Minister for External Affairs of the Republic of India, S.Jaishankar, on the margins of the high-level event of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Belarus — India investment and technological cooperation is of growing importance. Several projects are being implemented to produce up-to-date medicines in Belarus based on Indian technologies and with investments from India.
In the urban settlement of Balbasovo, Orsha district, a complex of multimodal production and logistics centre "Bremino-Orsha" was put into operation.
Belarus has been developing mutually beneficial relations with Iran. A high level of political contacts has been achieved. President of the Republic of Belarus A.Lukashenko and President of the Islamic Republic of Iran H.Rouhani met during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in China in June 2018, in Sochi in February 2019 during the joint meeting with the President of the Russian Federation and the President of Turkey.
In September 2018, the Iranian delegation led by the Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran A.Larijani visited Belarus.
Interaction with Tehran covers the spheres of trade, economy, investments, education, culture, etc. In January 2018, Belarusian-Iranian Commission for Economic Cooperation had its' regular session in Tehran. In July 2019, in Tehran 5th round of political consultations between the Foreign Ministry of Belarus and Foreign Ministry of Iran took place.
There is a regular interaction at various levels with Pakistan. President of the Republic of Belarus A.Lukashenko visited the country in 2015 and 2016, thus providing an impetus to the advancement of multifaceted bilateral relations and contributing to the establishment of an active exchange of visits between delegations of different levels.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko met with Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to discuss the topical matters of bilateral cooperation on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Dushanbe on September 16, 2021.
Constructive cooperation on the international arena in addressing important issues of the global and regional agenda is ensured through the mechanism of political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and Pakistan, their 5th round was held in Minsk on July 27, 2021.
ASEAN countries are among priorities for Belarus in Asia. Belarus pursues a policy aimed at developing friendly relations with the counties of the region.
Diplomatic relations were established with all the countries of the region, diplomatic missions are functioning in Vietnam (concurrently in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand) and Indonesia (concurrently in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines). There are plans to expand diplomatic presence.
Inter-parliamentary ties are developing. Since 2011, Belarus has had observer status at the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly. The Ambassador of Belarus to Indonesia has been accredited with ASEAN since 2012. Common approaches to the issues of the multilateral agenda allow Belarus to successfully cooperate with the countries of Southeast Asia on the international arena.
In March 2013, the state visits of the President of the Republic of Belarus A.G.Lukashenko to Indonesia and Singapore took place, which made it possible to expand the dialogue of Belarus with these states in the trade, economic and political spheres.
An effective mechanism of bilateral interaction has been established between the countries within the framework of regular meetings of the Belarusian-Indonesian Joint Commission on Trade, Economic and Technical cooperation, as well as Consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs.
In October 2021, an Indonesian parliamentary delegation headed by Rachmad Gobel, Vice Speaker of the Council of People’s Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia for Industry and Development, visited Belarus.
The high dynamics of interstate contacts with Vietnam, primarily in trade and economic area, were maintained by the visit to Vietnam of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, as well as by the visit to Belarus of the parliamentary delegation of Vietnam headed by the Chair of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.
The Belarusian side is also interested in developing a dialogue with the Republic of Korea and Japan. The first Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Belarus, Hiroki Tokunaga, presented his Credentials to the President of the Republic of Belarus in November 2020.
Positive dynamics is observed in scientific, technical and innovative cooperation of Belarus with Asian countries on the bilateral track. The State Committee for Science and Technology and the Institutes of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus are developing interactions with the leading research and innovation organizations in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries.
Over the past 15 years, trade with the countries of the region has significantly increased. In 2020, trade turnover with the countries of Southeast Asia amounted to about $ 1 billion, including the export of Belarusian goods composed at least $ 550 million.
Stable supplies of Belarusian fertilizers allow partners in the region to effectively ensure food security and export development.
The states of the region are important consumers of engineering products. Belarusian mining dump trucks BELAZ, MAZ trucks, Belarus tractors, tires, oil products, chemical products, machinery and equipment are well known in the countries of the region. An assembly plant for MAZ trucks operates in Vietnam.
Taking into account the achievements of Belarus in the production of agricultural products, cooperation in the food sector has a lot of potential. Belarus is successfully increasing the supply of food, including dairy products.
Humanitarian cooperation is also developing. A number of bilateral programs and projects is implemented with Japan and the Republic of Korea. These projects are aimed at the implementation of technical assistance programmes in the social and humanitarian spheres, capacity building in the field of medical care and social protection of the population of Belarus, including in the areas affected by the Chernobyl accident.
Since 2012, a program for the rehabilitation of children from prefectures affected by the accident at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant has been implemented by Belarus. During the program, more than 500 children and the accompanying persons have had a rest at the NDC "Zubrenok".
Belarus significantly intensified contacts with Mongolia. Foreign Ministers of both countries met during the 6th Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazakhstan, on October 11, 2021.
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