China Intends to Expand Economic Cooperation with Russia – American Expert
Bilateral trade between China and Russia has skyrocketed this year and is expected to reach US$80 billion by the end of 2017, an increase of over 30 percent year-on-year. According to the General Administration Customs of China, trade turnover between Russia and China in January-July this year increased by 25,5 percent in annual terms to $46,82 billion. At the end of 2016, this indicator grew by 2,2 percent in annual terms to reach $69,52 billion.
Andrey Denisov, the Russian Ambassador to China, told reporters that this year, for six to seven months, growth of trade turnover amounted to around 30 percent. If Moscow and Beijing keep this momentum, then by the end of the year our trade will reach US$80 billion and even slightly more, the diplomat added.
Economists emphasize that the growing trade corridor between the two countries has been motivated by three factors: the sanctions imposed by the EU upon Russia, China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) ambitions, and mutual investment in integrated IT technologies.
"Russia is a key part of China's OBOR plans. Without Russia on board there is no OBOR, it’s as simple as that", says Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates.
In his opinion, the trade relationship between China and Russia can be expected to develop significantly further. China is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, a Central Asian trade bloc that also includes Kazakhstan to China’s west, Russia, and Belarus, which borders the EU.