Despite Covid-19, Russia-China Trade Is Up 5% In 2020

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Although Russia and China have operated a closed border now for six weeks, trade volume between the two countries increased by 5% Year-On-Year in the period January-March 2020, according to Vladimir Oschepkov, the Russian consul general in Harbin. “According to our estimates, the volume of cargo transportation between our countries is gradually increasing.” the diplomat has said.

More than 300 trucks and up to 35 trains cross the border in both directions every day. Russian trains are full of product to be processed in China, such as coal, iron ore and lumber, while soy and fertilizers, which are now in demand in China due to the beginning of seasonal field work.

Oschepkov noted that the measures imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19 have affected bilateral trade volumes, but as soon as the border transit restrictions are lifted, these will quickly rebound. The Chinese economy meanwhile is recovering from the pandemic, with many companies, both domestic and foreign, already resuming operations across the country.

According to Oschepkov, around 90 percent of export-oriented facilities in the Chinese regions bordering Russia have already returned to work.

Trade turnover between the two countries set a new record last year, rising more than three percent to surpass US$110 billion.

The trade volume increase in the first three months of this year however is a slow down from predicted growth of 20% that was expected before the Covid-19 outbreak. Nonetheless, the current performance is illustrative of the increasing sustainability of Russia-China trade, even during times of crisis.

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