Chinese State Council Premier Li Keqiang has stated that trade between Russia and China will reach US$100 billion. “There are huge prospects for Russian-Chinese trade and economic cooperation and there is no doubt that trade can reach $100 billion,” Li said at a press conference.
China was Russia’s largest trade partner. In 2017, trade between Russia and China grew by 20.8 percent year-on-year to reach US$84 billion. Chinese exports to Russia increased by 14.8 percent to US$42.9 billion, while imports from Russia increased 27.7 percent to US$41.2 billion, according to China’s General Administration of Customs. That means Russia is one of the few countries to have a relatively balanced trade accord with China.
Russia’s Far East, the closest region to mainland China, has also been experiencing a boom in tourist numbers from China, mainly due to the casinos operating in Vladivostok. This is augmented by numerous Chinese companies operating in the Free Trade Zone, home of the Eurasian Diamond Exchange and an important source of gems for the mainland China market.
According to acting Governor of the Far Eastern region, Andrei Tarasenko, the turnover between Russia’s Primorsky Territory and China increased by 14 percent over the first nine months of 2017. Some 200 enterprises with Chinese involvement are currently working in the territory. Russia is trying to develop its Far East by improving its infrastructure and increasing cooperation with Asian nations, such as China, Japan, and South Korea.
Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates comments: “We identified the China-Russia trade corridor as a hot space some time ago, and are making moves to capitalize on that, with relationships with firms in Moscow, St.Petersburg, Irkutsk, and Vladivostok. The future for China based investors is both within the country and to its immediate neighbors, such as Russia and the nations involved with the Belt and Road Initiative. This is where the future opportunities will come from and these latest figures just underline where the trade direction is going. This is especially relevant among talk of a trade war with the United States. Russia should be a component part of all businesses involved in servicing China trade.”
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