Belarus Finance Ministry and the Shanghai Office of the China Development Bank signed an agreement to provide a term loan of ¥3.5 billion (~$500 million) in Shanghai on 16 December.
The loan is not linked to any specific project and can be spent on general purposes, including the repayment and servicing of the public debt, maintenance of gold and foreign currency reserves and promotion of trade between Belarus and China.
Finance Minister Maksim Yermolovich described the deal as unprecedented and proof of a new level of relations between the two countries. Besides, he noted that it means that Chinese financial institutions view Belarus as a reliable borrower.
The fact that the Ministry of Finance of Belarus is working on attracting this loan was known this summer. After Minsk failed to attract a loan of up to $600 million from Russia, it began intensive negotiations with the Chinese side on the issue.
The situation was aggravated by the fact that Belarus did not receive the seventh tranche of a $200 million the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD) fund loan.