Sino-Russian trade expected to rise in 2021 after slight reduction
In 2020, bilateral trade between China and Russia decreased by 2,9% year on year, but the trade volume still exceeded $100 billion for the third consecutive year. While China is mainly interested in Russian oil, gas and other commodities as well as agricultural products, Russia is eager to buy Chinese consumer goods.
Trade between China and Russia is expected to see growth this year despite a marginal decline in 2020, says China Daily citing China’s Ministry of Commerce. According to the ministry’s spokesperson Gao Feng, Moscow and Beijing will jointly address pandemic-related challenges, actively expand bilateral trade and promote new business forms and new models such as cross-border e-commerce. “China believes that bilateral trade between the two countries will recover, as economic and trade cooperation becomes more stable and productive due to joint efforts from both sides,” he said.
Bilateral goods trade between the two countries amounted to $107,77 billion last year, which was down by 2,9% compared to 2019. China significantly boosted imports of bulk commodities including oil, gas and iron ore from Russia last year. Sino-Russian agricultural trade increased to record $5,55 billion with Chinese imports accounting for 74% of this amount. The country became the largest market for Russian agricultural products and meat increasing its imports by 13,7% year on year. As for China’s exports to Russia, they began to recover in the second half of 2020 posting an average monthly increase of more than 7%.
According to Director General of China Center for Regional Economic Cooperation Zhang Jianping, Sino-Russian economic and trade prospects remain bright due to strong synergy. Russia possesses abundant natural resources such as oil and natural gas, while China needs them to meet its energy demand. At the same time, China is good at producing consumer goods, for example, computers, which are required by Russia.
In 2020, China became Russia’s largest trading partner for the 11th consecutive year. Moscow and Beijing are set to expand bilateral investment and strategic large-scale project cooperation. Other goals include deepening ties among local governments, making good use of various exhibition platforms, strengthening industrial park cooperation and optimising institutional arrangements to boost the business environment.