OREANDA-NEWS President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has approved a draft trade agreement with China, which the Ministry of Economy is authorized to negotiate, the presidential press service reports.

"We are talking about the creation of a free trade zone in services between Belarus and China, a transparent, liberal and favorable investment regime to attract investment," the message explains.

The Ministry of Economy previously stated that the agreement could be signed this year.

The Belarusian authorities expect that the agreement will allow to increase the export of Belarusian services to China and increase investments from China. The draft agreement has not yet been published. Earlier, the parties signed a memorandum on mutual facilitation of access to their markets. The signatures were signed by the First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Nikolay Snopkov and the Minister of Commerce of China Wang Wentao.

In March of this year, Snopkov noted that the overall economic effect of the Belarusian-Chinese agreements following the results of Lukashenko's state visit to China in late February – early March is estimated at more than $ 3.5 billion.

China is one of the three trade partners of Belarus. Last year, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to almost $ 5.8 billion. Exports to China amounted to 1.61 billion, and imports - 4.18 billion dollars.