Dagong Credit Rating to Belarus
April 26, 2012, the Chinese rating agency Dagong Cregit Rating Co., Ltd. assigned to Belarus sovereign credit ratings \"BB +\" - for liabilities in the national currency and \"BB-\" - for liabilities in the foreign currency. The outlook is \"stable.\"
The decision was taken following the work of Dagong analysts in Belarus in February 2012. An agreement with the rating agency on assigning the sovereign credit rating to Belarus was signed in November 2011.
Assigning the sovereign credit rating, according to Dagong Credit Rating agency, will open up the financial markets of South-Eastern Asia to Belarus. The government is likely to place bonds on the stock exchanges and the OTC market among residents of China, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.
Moreover, the expansion of trade and investment and credit co-operation with Asian companies is expected, since, according to the Dagong evaluation, the sovereign credit ratings of Belarus is several notches higher than the credit ratings from agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.
At present, Dagong Credit Rating is one of the major Chinese rating agencies that rates bonds of 10 thousand companies worth about $ 1 trillion and bank loans worth more than $ 110 billion.
For reference. According to the National Statistical Committee, the volume of foreign trade between Belarus and China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) decreased in January-February 2012 by 10%, compared to the previous year, to 358.322 million dollars. The exports of Belarusian goods fell by 24.8% to $ 56.583 million and the imports of Chinese goods declined by 6.5% to $ 301.739 million.
Direct Chinese investments into the Belarusian economy in 2011 reduced by 1.8 times, to $ 9,862 million.
As of January 1, 2012, China accounts for 8.3% of Belarus’ total external debt (in monetary terms, the external debt to China is about $ 2.824 billion). The major borrowers are the Belarusian government and the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.
Over the past year, military-political relations between Minsk and Kyiv have become complicated. Due to their high inertia and peculiarities, this downward trend would be extremely difficult to overcome.
The root cause of the crisis is the absence of a common political agenda in the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations. Minsk is looking for a market for Belarusian exports in Ukraine and offers its services as a negotiation platform for the settlement of the Russo-Ukrainian war, thereby hoping to avoid political issues in the dialogue with Kiev. Meanwhile, Ukraine is hoping for political support from Minsk in the confrontation with Moscow. In addition, Ukraine’s integration with NATO presupposes her common position with the Alliance in relation to Belarus. The NATO leadership regards the Belarusian Armed Forces as an integral part of the Russian military machine in the western strategic front (the Baltic states and Poland). In addition, the ongoing military reform in Ukraine envisages a reduction in the number of generals and the domestic political struggle makes some Ukrainian top military leaders targets in politically motivated attacks.
Hence, the criticism of Belarus coming from Ukrainian military leadership is dictated primarily by internal and external political considerations, as well as by the need to protect the interests of generals, and only then by facts.
For instance, initially, the Ukrainian military leadership made statements about 100,000 Russian servicemen allegedly taking part in the Russo-Belarusian military drill West-2017. Then the exercises were labelled quazi-open and military observers from Ukraine refused to provide their assessment, which caused a negative reaction in Minsk. Further, without citing specific facts, it was stated that Russia was building up its military presence in Belarus.
Apparently, the Belarusian and Ukrainian Defence Ministries have entangled in a confrontational spiral (on the level of rhetoric). Moreover, only a small part of the overly hidden process has been disclosed. That said, third states are very likely to take advantage of the situation (or have already done so). This is not only about Russia.
The Belarusian Defence Ministry officials are restrained in assessing their Ukrainian counterparts. However, such a restraint is not enough. Current military-political relations between Belarus and Ukraine are unlikely to stabilise without the intervention of both presidents.