Moscow and Beijing plan to set a new record high in mutual commerce by the end of 2021, with a long-term trade turnover of $ 200 billion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an essay published on Friday in the Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta and the Chinese newspaper People’s Daily.
The article commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia.
“China is our most important trading partner. The coronavirus pandemic had a detrimental impact on this area’s dynamics in 2020, but not significantly. Volumes, on the other hand, appear to be rapidly recovering. There is every reason to believe that commerce will hit a new high by the end of 2021, and that it will eventually surpass the $200 billion long term objective established by the heads of state “, he stated.
In accordance with Article 16 of the Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, trade and economic connections are the most significant component of Russian-Chinese relations, according to Lavrov. The minister stated that since 2001, mutual trade turnover has nearly 14 times increased and has regularly topped $100 billion in the previous three years.
Scratching the surface of these figures shows a less rosy picture for Russia. China surpassed Germany in 2010 to become Russia’s largest single commercial partner. To be clear, the European Union as a whole remains Russia’s most important trading partner, accounting for $260 billion (€232 billion) in trade in 2019, more than double China’s trade with Russia. However, China has grown in importance for Russia in recent years, accounting for 15.5% of overall trade in 2018. Russia, on the other hand, contributed for only 0.8 percent of China’s overall trade in 2018.
Russia’s main product, energy, is strategically significant, but as the trade relationship grows more unbalanced, China will have more clout as a buyer than Russia has as a provider.