Belarus will accept 650,000 workers from China
Information that Belarus will issue 650,000 work visas to citizens of China has been confirmed. Sino-Belarusian industrial park near Minsk will be built by 650,000 Chinese who have work visas issued. A whole Chinese provincial town will be transported to a small town of Smolevichi almost at the Belarusian capital. If this happens, then statistically one Chinese will account for almost 14 residents of Belarus. A source in the government of the country confirmed the information about the mass arrival of Chinese guest workers. Officially, the Foreign Ministry of Belarus denies this.
In February 2012, residents of villages and housing estates of Smolevichi district near Minsk even addressed an open letter to the ruler of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, requesting to review building plans of the largest in Belarus industrial park in these settlements.
Presenting the project, Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich said that "under Smolevichi there will be something more interesting than "Skolkovo".
The agreement, whereby near the airport Minsk-2 and route Moscow - Brest, on the land plot of 80 square kilometers an industrial park will be built for the funds of Chinese investors, was ratified by the Belarusian Council of Ministers in mid-December 2011. Interests of Chinese partners are represented by the Chinese engineering company "Chinese corporation SAMS" JSC. According to the Minsk City Executive Committee, the project will be the largest in the country. Originally the amount of investment was supposed to be up to 30 billion USD.
Despite the protests of local residents in June Lukashenko signed the Decree № 253 "On Sino-Belarusian Industrial Park", whereby near Smolevichi a special economic zone will be created with special legal regime for 50 years.
The area of the land allocated for the Sino-Belarusian Industrial Park is comparable in size with Vitebsk. According to the plan there should be whole industrial city there, where emphasis will be placed on electronics, biomedicine, fine chemistry and engineering.