Geely has agreed to set up a joint venture in Belarus to assemble cars with an eye to eventually export some output to Russia, the company said.
Under the agreement, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group will team up with two Belarusian companies, Belaz and Soyuz, in a venture with an annual capacity of 120,000 units, the Moscow Times reported.
"The project's production capacity and product line will subsequently be expanded to allow it to supply Russia, Ukraine and the wider CIS market," Geely said in a statement. Geely said it was the first automotive joint venture between China and Belarus.
It is set to produce four models: the EX7 sports utility vehicle, SC7 sedan, SC5 hatchback and LC-CROSS crossover.
Partner Belaz is the world's second-largest mining machinery company while Soyuz is a producer of auto components, Geely said. The joint venture is called Belgee.
Geely bought Volvo Cars in 2010 and most recently signed deals to assemble Chinese cars in Uruguay and Egypt.
It describes itself as the "fastest-growing automobile exporter in China, with sales to the Russian and Ukrainian markets particularly strong."
The Belarusian joint venture will provide Geely with a platform from which to expand its presence in the CIS market, "representing an important step in the company's overseas ambitions", Geely said.
Between January and June this year, Geely booked sales of 14,886 and 6,739 units in Russia and Ukraine respectively, giving it the largest presence of any Chinese automobile brand in those markets, the company said.
Overall car sales in Russia amounted to 1.3m units last year, according to the Association of European Businesses in Russia. That was a decline of 6% year on year.