President Alexander Lukashenko said that China is on full alert to build a $180 stadium and pool in Belarus, and urged “not to red tape the Chinese partners”.
The Chinese side is ready to begin construction in the first half of next year.
The construction of the national football stadium and international standard pool in Minsk were discussed on 6 August, the press service of the president reported.
The facilities are to be built at the expense of free technical and economic assistance from China until 2023. Draft decrees on the construction were submitted for consideration.
“During my last visit to China, Xi Jinping showed the layouts of the facilities. I stress that the construction of such sports facilities in Minsk in the context of cooperation between Belarus and China is unprecedented and should be an example for other projects in the future,” the head of state said.
The president also emphasized the need to implement the projects as soon as possible “so that we, after receiving free money, do not red tape the Chinese.”
Stadium and pool
The stadium for 33,000 seats will appear near the Tractor stadium. The total built-up area will be about 48,000m2 (a 42,000m2 overground part and a 6,000m2 underground part).
It will have a canopy, tribune, rooms for spectators, a VIP room, rooms for athletes, media area, a technical area for competitions and administration, a commercial room, underground parking, play area.
The total built-up area of the pool designed for 6,000 spectators is approximately 40,000m2.
A tribune, rooms for spectators, a VIP room, rooms for athletes, training rooms, media area, technical rooms for competitions and administration, commercial premises, outdoor parking for 400 cars, swimming pools will be there.
Design and construction of the facilities will be carried out according to Chinese standards and technical conditions. They will meet all the technical requirements and recommendations of FIFA, UEFA and FINA.
New market, compensation, corruption
Why is Beijing ready to make such a very generous donation to the people of Belarus?
Belarus received Chinese technical and economic assistance worth over 2 billion yuan ($300 million), the former Minister of Economics Vladimir Zinovsky said two years ago.
The funds were earmarked for the Great Stone industrial park projects, putting into operation over 10 social houses, construction of a student dormitory and a hospital in Borovlyany.
“When you enter a new market, you always have to pay entry fees. China modernized cement plants, obtained a site near Minsk for its large-scale Silk Road project, the Geely car plant is ready to enter the huge Russian market, the construction of plants in Svetlogorsk and Dobrush is nearing completion.
These projects are worth billions of dollars. $150 million of this amount is less than 10%. This is a normal fee for entering the market,” says an expert familiar with the implementation of investment projects involving Chinese capital.
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According to another source, the Chinese budget a certain percentage of funds on the so-called corruption costs. “Here, apparently, they did not have to spend money on these goals. Why not invest in a new stadium?”
Sources recall that not all Chinese partners implement their projects flawlessly. There were nuances with the cement plants, thermal power plants, cables at a Svetlogorsk plant. “This is a kind of compensation for damages,” the source added.
Another source believes that the explanation is pretty simple, “the Belarusians are panhandling for money.” Recall that a 100 hectares town with national Chinese character and charm will soon appear near Minsk.