Russia’s economic cooperation with Asian countries has been steadily increasing as trade with the European Union (EU) declines, according to Ruslan Davydov, the acting head of Russia’s Federal Customs Service (FCS). Speaking at the International Customs Forum in Moscow, Davydov highlighted the growing trade with China and India, as well as the rising turnover with Latin American countries.
Davydov emphasized the FCS’s efforts to improve customs procedures in order to facilitate faster delivery of goods and further boost trade with its Asian partners. He pointed out that while the EU accounted for more than 50% of Russia’s trade before the crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, its share has now decreased to 16%. Meanwhile, the share of Asian countries has risen to almost 70% and continues to grow.
Earlier reports from Davydov also highlighted the expansion of Moscow’s economic cooperation with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which now accounts for 14% of Russian foreign trade. Trade with member states of the Eurasian Economic Union has also been on the rise, with projections estimating it to reach $100 billion this year.
This shift in economic cooperation reflects Russia’s response to Western sanctions imposed on Moscow in recent years. With the EU and the United States targeting sectors such as finance, energy, and defense, Russia has looked towards Asian markets to diversify its trade and strengthen its economic ties. This pivot towards the East has been a strategic move to offset the impact of Western sanctions and ensure the country’s economic stability and growth.
China has become a particularly important partner for Russia. In recent years, the two countries have been deepening their economic cooperation through various initiatives, including the Belt and Road Initiative and the integration of the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. These efforts have led to increased trade between China and Russia, with many bilateral agreements being signed in sectors such as energy, technology, and agriculture.
India has also emerged as a significant trading partner for Russia. Both countries have recognized the potential for cooperation across various sectors, including defense, nuclear energy, and pharmaceuticals. Efforts are underway to enhance trade and investment ties, with the aim of reaching a bilateral trade volume of $30 billion by 2025.
Russia’s growing economic ties with Latin American countries further reflect its diversification strategy. The country has been actively engaging in trade, investment, and cooperation agreements with nations in the region. Key areas for collaboration include energy, agriculture, infrastructure development, and technology transfer.
The FCS’s focus on streamlining customs procedures aligns with Russia’s broader efforts to improve its business environment and attract foreign investment. By facilitating trade and reducing bureaucratic barriers, Russia aims to create a favorable climate for international businesses to operate and promote economic growth.
In conclusion, Russia’s economic cooperation with Asian countries has been expanding as trade with the EU declines. This shift reflects Moscow’s response to Western sanctions and its efforts to diversify its trade partners. By strengthening ties with China, India, and Latin American countries, Russia aims to ensure its economic stability and growth while creating a more favorable business environment for foreign investment.