Russia to become China’s second biggest trade partner – Rosneft boss
Moscow is on course to become Beijing’s largest foreign trade partner, after the US, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin told the Russian-Chinese energy business forum in Beijing this week.
China has been Russia’s largest trade partner for over a decade while this year Moscow placed fourth on Beijing's list, but this year’s surge in bilateral trade signals a change in rankings, he stated.
“If such bilateral trade dynamics continue, Russia may become China’s second largest trading partner after the US in the coming years,” Sechin suggested, noting that this would rank Russia ahead of Japan and South Korea. Both countries have seen a sharp drop in bilateral trade with Beijing, he added.
Sechin observed that trade turnover between Russia and China has jumped by nearly 30% in the first nine months of the year, to roughly $176 billion.
“There is every reason to believe that trade turnover between our countries will exceed the target of $200 billion this year,” he said.
Total turnover over the past five years has grown to $660 billion, with energy making up more than 75% of Russian exports to China, Sechin added.
The Rosneft head noted that both China and Russia are currently carrying out “structural reorganization of the economy under increased external pressure,” referring to sanctions imposed by Western nations, which have largely targeted Russia, but also partly Chinese companies, especially in the tech sphere.
“I am confident that the current model of the Chinese economy will be even more resistant to external shocks and will allow China to move to a new stage of development in the long term,” Sechin said. He stated that Russia, for its part, has successfully dealt with the challenges posed by Western sanctions placed on Moscow in connection with the conflict in Ukraine.
“The rapid dynamics of the development of mutually beneficial trade relations between Russia and China is causing concerns and criticism among our competitors. This shows we’ve chosen the right course of action. It would be correct to describe Russo-Chinese relations as a ‘future-oriented partnership’,” he added.
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