Putin and Xi Sign Off on Increasing Ruble/RMB Trade Use, US$100 Billion in Potential Bilateral Trade Turnover
The statement discusses “further strengthening of the Russian-Chinese cooperation in the financial sector, promoting increase of the share of national currencies in trade payments, investments and financing, expanding collaboration in such fields as payment systems and insurance,” among the tasks faced by the two countries.
Putin and Xi also agreed to set the trend of rising Russian-Chinese trade turnover and further improvement of its structure, to look for new growth areas and collaboration forms in the field of trade and economic cooperation. The two countries also plan to “boost efforts aimed at harmonizing strategies, programs and measures to develop national economies and particular sectors; create favorable environment for Russian and Chinese enterprises; jointly promote big projects in accordance with subjectivity principles of companies, the market-oriented approach, commercial-based work and observance of global practices; and sustainably expand the scope and raise the level of Russian-Chinese investment collaboration,” as well as to create favorable conditions for trans-border bond issuance.
The issues of “deepening cooperation in the oil and gas, coal, electricity areas, as well as in the fields of renewable energy resources, energy equipment and energy efficiency” were also mentioned in the statement.
The Russian president also stated that Russia and China can reach a bilateral trade turnover of US$100 billion by the end of this year, stating that “In January-March 2018, the volume of Russian-Chinese trade grew by 31 percent. If this rate is maintained, by the end of the year we will be able to reach a record figure – the level that we spoke about over several years – US$100 billion”.
Putin recalled that last year trade turnover between Russia and China amounted to US$87 billion, saying that “At the same time, the supply of products with a high processing degree – machines, equipment, vehicles, increased. More than 70 priority projects worth over US$20 billion are being implemented through the intergovernmental commission for investment cooperation.”
Premier of the State Council of China Li Keqiang said earlier on Friday that China is ready to develop cooperation with Russia both in traditional spheres for the two countries, and in other areas, including nuclear sphere. “This year, we can expect to see bilateral turnover of US$100 billion. We have already accomplished the goal and we can rise to a new level. We are ready to develop cooperation in traditional areas and in new areas, in particular, in the nuclear sphere”.
“The Russia-China trade space has largely been made up of energy deals”, says Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates. “However, now we are seeing an expansion of this into other commercial markets such as IT, automotive, and machinery. China has also just signed a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union. This creates further business opportunities for companies in these sectors in both markets and is a welcome and overdue development. It is time for Russian companies to be looking at China and vice-versa.”
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