Business / Economy

Sino-Russian trade looks promising against headwinds

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-02-05 15:41

Sino-Russian trade looks promising against headwinds

People walk past boards showing currency exchange rates in Moscow, Dec 17, 2014. The dramatic fall in Russia's rouble slowed on Dec 17, with the government selling foreign currency to prop it up after a 50 percent fall against the dollar this year. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING - Despite headwinds from an uncertain global climate, trade between China and Russia is likely to continue to grow in 2015 thanks to fresh opportunities and steadfast political will.

Russia grappled with unexpected economic hardship last year triggered by Western sanctions and a crude oil price plunge, with its trade with major economic partners including the European Union tumbling.

Bucking the trend, China-Russia trade remained robust due to strengthening ties between the two sides. Bilateral trade rose 6.8 percent from the previous year to a record high of $95.28 billion in 2014.

Despite the eye-catching figure, worries linger as the impact of the sanctions may worsen during the year amid sluggish global trade, while China is confronted with its own looming pressures, casting a shadow over the prospects.

Natalia V. Akindinova, professor at the Higher School of Economics, said Russia's economic outlook is grim this year as falling resident incomes will probably dampen consumption and lead to shrinking imports.

Chinese businessmen in Russia have also felt the chill from a ruble slump since the end of last year as dropping shipments and tourism in border ports including Heihe and Manzhouli prompted an even colder winter.

However, analysts have predicted a promising outlook based on unchanged favorable conditions, such as supplementary economies and keen enterprises, as well as new opportunities.

Russian trade commissioner to China Aleksey Gruzdev said Russia could find oriental solutions for its economic problems.

"Russia needs to strengthen industrial and agricultural cooperation overseas, introduce high-tech products, bring in investment and diversify financing means, all of which can be improved via collaboration with China," he said.

Heilongjiang Province, China's nearest region to Russia, plans to build 20 model farms to provide vegetables for Russia, a boon to lagging farm produce trade between the two sides.

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