Belarus has reached an agreement with China to get a $500 million loan. The funding will arrive in Belarus by the end of 2019 or within the next two weeks.
The loan will be used to service Belarus’ external debt, maintain its gold and currency reserves and boost bilateral trade.
The loan is for five years, according to President Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s edict No 455 signed and published on the National Legal Information Portal of the Republic of Belarus on 13 December.
The loan will be provided by the Shanghai office of the China Development Bank, Belarus' Finance Ministry said.
Minsk had tried to secure a Chinese loan since August 2019 when the government of Belarus expected to receive a $630 million loan from Russia. However, Kremlin decided to tie that and other loans in the future with ‘deeper integration’ between the two countries, pushing the Belarusian Finance Ministry to look for an alternative.
As of 1 November 2019, Belarus’ foreign debt amounted to $16.5 billion or 26.7% of the country’s GDP.