Chinese carmakers have seen a significant increase in their market share in Russia, with their presence rising from 5% last year to almost 40% currently, according to Zhou Liqun, chairman of the Chinese Entrepreneurs’ Union of Russia. Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Zhou attributed this expansion to the withdrawal of Western companies from the Russian market, which has created opportunities for Chinese businesses to fill the gaps left behind.
The exit of Western firms has opened up vast possibilities for Chinese businessmen and enterprises to collaborate with Russia across various sectors, Zhou explained. One such sector where Chinese carmakers have made significant inroads is vehicle manufacturing. In the past year, they have entered the Russian market and increased their market share to nearly 40%. This growth can be attributed to the void created by the departure of Western carmakers.
Zhou emphasized that China and Russia have been important trade partners for each other for the past 14 years. Over this period, both countries have established numerous platforms and opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation. The cooperation framework between China and Russia is highly convenient for both sides, with stable political relations promoting the development of trade and business ties. Chinese businessmen are interested in Russia’s vast reserves of raw materials, while Russian businessmen are attracted to Chinese machinery and equipment. This reciprocal interest makes the cooperation between the two nations mutually beneficial and opens up potential for further development.
Furthermore, Zhou highlighted that the use of national currencies in trade between Russia and China has gained momentum since the introduction of Western sanctions on Moscow. Currently, 80-85% of all transactions between the two countries are conducted in either yuan or rubles. As trade and cooperation between Russia and China continue to expand rapidly, this percentage is likely to increase further. Zhou believes that businesses in both countries are already accustomed to using their national currencies in cross-border transactions, making direct cooperation more convenient. He anticipates that the ratio of yuan and ruble transactions in mutual trade could grow to 90%, depending on the specific product.
In addition to trade, China has shown a strong interest in the development of Russia’s Far East as a supply source and trading partner. Currently, China is involved in 58 projects in the region, including the construction of a petrochemical complex in the Amur Region, as well as various projects in agriculture and infrastructure. According to Zhou, China’s cooperation with the Far East holds great potential for further growth and collaboration.
The increasing presence of Chinese carmakers in the Russian market, along with the expanding use of national currencies in bilateral trade, highlights the deepening economic ties between China and Russia. As Western companies retreat, Chinese businesses are seizing the opportunity to establish a stronger foothold in Russia, which presents immense prospects for mutual cooperation and development.
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