US trade war & sanctions open doors for Russian companies in China — Beijing official

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The simmering US-China trade war and US sanctions against Russia may become an excellent opportunity for Russian firms, according to the China Overseas Development Association (CODA).

“The past year has become a very important one for Russia and China… Despite geopolitical challenges the countries’ economies keep on growing,” CODA secretary-general He Zhenwei told RIA Novosti on the sidelines of the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi.

The official said that Beijing’s recent deterioration in relations with Washington had a serious, positive impact on Russia-China cooperation, stressing that the trade turnover between the partners had topped $100 billion last year. He added that the upward trend was especially noticeable in the agricultural sector.

“For instance, export of soybeans from Russia to China grew one-and-a-half times in 2018 and totaled 800,000 tons,” he said. “The growth was boosted by US-China trade war that evoked a sharp deterioration of soy imports from the US.”

According to the official, China is a huge marketplace for Russia’s agricultural produce, including corn, meat, grains, honey and other goods.

“In China we say ‘when God closes doors, he opens a window’,” he said, adding that China has opened its market for Russian producers.

 “Trade war is really bad for China and the US, but it gives a chance, new opportunities for the third parties, and they should take a chance.”

The economist also said that most Chinese enterprises were worried that US sanctions against Russia might cause problems for mutual dollar transactions with Russian partners. However, a total ban on dollar payments holds the possibility for increasing transactions in national currencies, according to He.

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