Trade between the world’s largest country and its most populous has boomed despite the pandemic
By Layla Guest
Despite personal relations and logistics being disrupted by Covid-19, Russia and China’s joint commercial turnover in 2021 exceeded pre-pandemic levels and has broken records, Moscow’s trade representative to Beijing has revealed.
In an interview with RIA Novosti, published on Monday, the, Aleksey Dakhnovsky, said that according to Chinese statistics, the volume of mutual trade had already surpassed $130 billion in the first 11 months of last year, predicting the total will likely be more than $140 billon.
According to Dakhnovsky, this happened due to the rise in prices for energy and nonferrous metals, as well as growth in coal shipments to its eastern neighbor.
He noted that the previous all-time high was achieved in 2019, with bilateral trade turnover coming close to $111 billion.
“We hope that in 2022, if the pandemic subsides, we will reach a new record. If current trends persist, we should reach the target level of $200 billion set by the leaders of our two countries by 2024,” Dakhnovsky said.
The envoy’s remarks come as Moscow and Beijing hail their relations in the face of growing hostilities with the West. In a New Year’s message to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the past year had seen the “bilateral trade volume reaching new heights and major strategic projects in the fields of energy, space … accelerated” between the two states.
Speaking to journalists at his annual press conference, the Russian leader said the two states “have very trusting relations and it helps us build good business ties as well.” Putin added that the nations are also developing certain high-tech weapons together.
At the end of November, Igor Sechin, the chief of Russian state-run oil giant Rosneft, said that Moscow and Beijing have “achieved historical success in developing comprehensive cooperation and strengthening comprehensive ties, and the industry is creating the basis for further increasing trade.