Beijing aims to increase trade with Russia

World Today

President Xi Jinping of China is scheduled to sign agreements that will increase economic ties with Moscow during this month’s visit to Russia. Trade between the two countries has been growing during the past year.

European economic sanctions against Moscow have created opportunities for Chinese businesses, but Chinese investors have been slow to take advantage of them.

CGTN’s Grace Shao reports.

Both China and Russia said more than infrastructure should be promoted.

“Economic relations between China and Russia have rebounded since trade dipped when oil prices began falling,” He Zhenwei, the Secretary-General of the China Overseas Development Association said. “Trade between the two countries reached 70 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. Though it’s still not a lot, trade is definitely on the rise.”

But the attitude in China towards doing business in Russia is not rosy. Many Chinese businessmen are still skeptical about entering the market.

Evgeny Gorshkov is the head of Investor Relations at Russia’s largest Special Economic Zone, Alabuga. He’s been working with China for almost a decade now and said Russia is doing its part to attract Chinese investment.

“We can see that our political relations have been a lot better than our economic relations,” Gorshkov said. “That’s why there is so much potential for our economic relations. I believe we will have a lot more trade and I believe there will be mutual benefits. But the level of Chinese investment is still very low; many Chinese still don’t know about the opportunities Russia provides to Chinese companies. For many years now, we have been trying to attract their investment.”