Moscow is set to become Beijing’s largest foreign partner after Washington, with the turnover between the two cities expected to surpass $200 billion by the end of this year, according to Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin. Speaking at the Russian-Chinese energy business forum in Beijing, Sechin highlighted the surge in bilateral trade between the two countries as evidence of this trend.
Although China has been Russia’s largest trade partner for over a decade, Russia currently ranks fourth among China’s main trade partners. However, Sechin predicts that if the current dynamics continue, Russia could become China’s second largest trading partner, overtaking Japan and South Korea.
The trade turnover between Russia and China has already seen a significant increase of nearly 30% in the first nine months of this year, reaching approximately $176 billion. Sechin expressed confidence that this figure would exceed $200 billion by the end of the year.
Over the past five years, the total turnover between Russia and China has grown to $660 billion, with energy accounting for more than 75% of Russian exports to China.
Sechin also highlighted the current “structural reorganization of the economy under increased external pressure” that both countries are facing, referring to the sanctions imposed by Western nations. These sanctions have primarily targeted Russia but have also impacted Chinese companies, particularly in the tech sector.
Despite these challenges, Sechin remains hopeful about the future of Russian-Chinese trade relations. He stated, “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.”
He also emphasized that Russia has successfully navigated the challenges posed by Western sanctions, positioning the country to further expand its partnership with China. Sechin described the Russo-Chinese relations as a “future-oriented partnership” that has caused concerns and criticism among their competitors, indicating that they have chosen the right course of action.
With the continuous growth in bilateral trade and the strengthening of economic ties, Russia and China are poised to become even closer in the coming years. The substantial increase in trade turnover between the two countries reflects the mutual benefits that can be gained from their partnership.
As geopolitical dynamics continue to evolve, Russia’s rising position as China’s largest foreign partner after the United States highlights the changing landscape of global trade. Both countries are demonstrating resilience in the face of external challenges and are actively seeking opportunities for further cooperation and development.
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