Russia-China trade booming, to hit $100bn this year
China is Russia’s largest trading partner, accounting for 15 percent of Russian international trade last year.
In January, trade turnover grew to 17.2 percent. It is expected to exceed the $100-billion mark this year, according to the deputy chairman of China’s Ministry of Commerce. In 2017, bilateral trade amounted to $84.1 billion, up by 19 percent year-on-year, he said at a press conference on Friday.
A report of the General Administration of Customs of China showed that in January-March, Chinese exports to Russia grew by almost 24 percent, to $10.3 billion. Chinese imports of Russian goods increased by 32 percent, to more than $12 billion.
As trade grows, Russia and China are promoting settlements in ruble and yuan, bypassing the US dollar and other Western currencies. “It makes it possible to reduce the dependence on the influence of third countries,” the Russian Central Bank told RT.
According to the Russian regulator, both Russian and Chinese companies are willing to pay in ruble and renminbi, and this can be proven by real numbers. Last year, nine percent of payments for supplies from Russia to China were made in rubles; Russian companies paid 15 percent of Chinese imports in the renminbi. Just three years ago, the numbers were two and nine percent, respectively.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called Sino-Russian trade growth “visible and sound.” While meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in November, Putin said Moscow and Beijing have established a strong link “fully corresponding to the level of our strategic partnership.”
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