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China, Russia should tap huge trade potential

Updated: Apr 20,2018 8:41 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China-Russia trade is likely to exceed $100 billion this year, after an increase of nearly 30 percent in the first quarter, a spokesman with the Ministry of Commerce said on April 19.

“China-Russia relations are mature and stable, and will not be affected by the external environment,” spokesman Gao Feng said at a news conference.

In recent years, bilateral economic and trade relations have grown well, with better investment cooperation and progress on major strategic projects, Gao said.

Last year, trade between the two countries rose 20.8 percent to $84.07 billion, the eighth straight year China has been the largest trade partner of Russia.

In the first three months of this year, bilateral trade rose 28.2 percent year on year to $23.06 billion, with China’s exports up 23.7 percent and imports up 32 percent, Chinese customs data showed.

China will, together with the Russian side, continue to optimize the bilateral trade structure by expanding trade in mechanical and electrical products as well as high-tech products, Gao said.

Measures will also be taken to expand market access in farm produce and cross-border commerce.

“We are ready to work with Russia and make a success of both the fifth China-Russia Expo in July and the China International Import Expo in November,” said Gao.

Sergey Glazyev, adviser to the Russian president, said at a meeting on April 18 that both countries have stepped up infrastructure construction and improved their legal systems to unite their efforts under the frameworks of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union.

China and Russia share a wide range of cooperation opportunities and there is still huge potential, Glazyev said, calling for bilateral trade settlement in their own currencies.

Russian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Evgeny Gromyko told Xinhua that the two countries should strengthen agricultural cooperation.

Gromyko said that Russia will increase exports of agricultural produce to China, including grain, edible oil and fish.

China and Russia will be able to maintain double digit trade growth in the medium to long term, Glazyev said.