Russia-China Bilateral Trade Up 30% In Q1 2017
Trade between Russia and China increased by over 30% over the same period last year, according to Chinese Customs data. In the first three months of 2017, bilateral trade amounted to USD18.1 billion. Of this, Russian exports to China grew by 36.1 percent to USD9.66 billion, while Chinese exports to Russia increased by 22.4 percent to USD8.43 billion.
In 2016, the total trade volume between Russia and China was USD69.5 billion. Zhang Xiao, the deputy to the Chinese ambassador to Russia, said Beijing expects a breakthrough in trade between the countries this year. Zhang commented “After a downturn in 2015 due to external factors, Russia-China trade returned to growth in 2016. Over the course of 2016, turnover between Russia and China reached $69.5 billion, a 2.2 percent increase against the previous year. While a 2.2 percent growth is not significant, it is very important considering the unfavorable conditions in the global economy and a decrease in Chinese foreign trade volumes.”
Russia and China also have a number of investment projects. The countries are jointly building the Power of Siberia gas pipeline and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on the Yamal Peninsula in the Russian Arctic. The countries are also working on a wide-body passenger jet to compete with Airbus and Boeing. China has also applied for a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union which includes Russia.
Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates comments “The Western sanctions against Russia have pivoted the Russian economy towards Asia, and China in particular. The two countries are geographically close to each other and share a common border. Various commodities that Russia has, such as energy and food, are sought after by China. Along with these industries is a growing development of more technical cooperation. The Russia-China trade space is undervalued and will be experiencing considerable growth in the coming decade. It is time for MNC’s to become involved.”
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