Belarus and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are expected to reach an agreement on financing projects in Belarus by the end of the year 2019, Belarus Economy Minister Dmitry Krutoi said.

“We are set to reach an agreement on one or two projects by the end of the year,” Dmitry Krutoi said.

The AIIB is showing interest in a number of projects, mostly in road development. Talks are underway on the P46 Polotsk-Lepel road.

“However, we prioritize projects that are part of the Belt & Road Initiative. This implies projects in the China-Belarus Industrial Park Great Stone, and maybe logistic and transport terminals in Bolbasovo,” the Minister informed.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is an international financial institution established upon China’s initiative.

The bank began operating in January 2016 and has 100 approved member countries today. The largest shareholders of the bank are China, India, and Russia. Belarus became an AIIB member on 17 January 2019.

Speaking about cooperation with other international Financial Organizations, Dmitry Krutoi noted that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, for example, will help finance a pilot project on heat insulation of residential housing in Minsk.

This can be the biggest infrastructure project in the country in terms of its potential. The project is to be launched in Q4.

According to the Minister, the European Investment Bank can become the biggest investor in Belarus

“We started as usual from infrastructure projects, small projects to support SMEs. The president emphasized that we should make sure these resources are paid back. Our country has a great history of relations with this organization. We never fail to honour our commitments,” the minister said.

After the recession of 2015-2016, collaboration with all international financial organizations bounced back. The key partners include the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank.

Belarus counts on a substantial project portfolio with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

“The Economy Ministry proceeds from the amount of the overall country investment. As of today, given the current development pace, we need to raise an equivalent of $12-13 billion of investment per annum. We can get as much as $1 billion annually from these four international financial organizations,” the Minister said.