Stronger Product and Service Alignment Crucial to Promoting China-Belarus Cooperation

Author: Wang Guowen, Director, Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Zhang Yiju, Research Associate, Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Editor’s Note: The mutual recognition and alignment of the standards for product and services at national strategic level and in the form of bilateral agreements is crucial to ensuring successful construction, implementation and operation of China-Belarus Industrial Park. As they participate in the Belt & Road projects, Chinese enterprises should participate in the formulation of policies, regulations, standards and processes in the host country of the projects, and actively promote the alignment of China’s standards with the local standards in the host country.

In recent years, major projects of China-Belarus cooperation have been pushed forward in the process of Belt & Road construction. China-Belarus Industrial Park is a signature project in China and Belarus’ joint effort to build the Silk Road economic belt. According to planning objectives, China-Belarus Industrial Park will attract over 200 high-tech enterprises and create 120 thousand jobs, as it is integrated into a new international airport city with a population of 200 thousand.

The major projects of China-Belarus cooperation have won policy support from the government of Belarus, providing favorable conditions for China-Belarus cooperation. However, the lack of mutual recognition and alignment of China’s standards and the local ones in Belarus has hindered the development of cooperation projects between the two countries. The lengthy certification process has severely affected the schedule. Moreover, the lack of alignment in service standards between China and Belarus poses a potential policy risk, potentially reducing the efficiency of construction and operation of the park. In addition, the lack of mutual recognition and alignment in management processes has added unnecessary daily operation costs for Chinese businesses.

The practical experience of China-Belarus Industrial Park and other cooperation projects testify to the necessity of standard alignment between China and the host country at a national strategic level in a bid to raise the overall efficiency. Here are three proposals: first, incorporate the mutual recognition of standards into bilateral cooperation, and sign detailed bilateral agreements to fully align China’s standards and the local standards. Second, conduct research on the development strategies, laws and regulations, standard systems and access management systems of countries and regions along the belt and road, so as to provide intellectual support for Chinese businesses going global. Third, encourage Chinese businesses and institutions to participate in the drafting of international standards, and work towards higher levels of international standardization.