Ecns | 3 December 2021
China, Russia may update investment deal
Nations agree to continuously expand high-quality growth of bilateral trade.
China and Russia are looking into the feasibility of updating their bilateral investment treaty, which was signed in 2006 and took effect in 2009, to provide better institutional support for the two nations’ investment cooperation, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.
Shu Jueting, a spokeswoman for the ministry, made the remark during a news briefing when being asked about a recent meeting via video link between Premier Li Keqiang and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, which was the 26th regular exchange between Chinese and Russian heads of government.
"While fully recognizing the achievements in China-Russia economic and trade relations this year and the upward momentum of bilateral pragmatic cooperation in various areas, the two sides have reached multiple consensuses in furthering cooperation to give new impetus to the China-Russia comprehensive and strategic partnership of coordination in the new era," Shu said.
Trade between China and Russia is on a fast growth track this year, despite a 2.9 percent decline on a yearly basis in 2020. Their bilateral trade in goods reached more than $115.6 billion in the first 10 months of this year, up 30.9 percent year-on-year, compared with $107.77 billion for the whole of 2020, according to customs statistics.
China’s outbound direct investment in Russia surged 39.1 percent year-on-year in the January-October period, according to the ministry.
Shu said the two sides have agreed to continuously expand the high-quality development of bilateral trade, make new breakthroughs in investment and major project cooperation, deepen industrial and supply chain cooperation, advance cooperation in emerging areas and comprehensively strengthen cooperation on multilateralism.
China will join hands with Russia to fully implement the important consensus that was reached, give further play to the cooperation mechanisms between the two governments and further promote bilateral economic and trade relations and pragmatic cooperation in various fields, to strengthen and deepen the comprehensive and strategic partnership of coordination between the two nations in the new era, she added.
Zhang Jianping, head of the Center for Regional Economic Cooperation at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation in Beijing, said that economic and trade ties between China and Russia are well poised to strengthen, with greater potential considering their large populations and economies.
Their strong economic complementarity also points to brighter cooperation prospects, he said.
"Russia’s comparative advantages in sectors such as nuclear energy, aviation, aerospace, agriculture, energy and natural resources match well with China’s needs for economic growth at a time of high-quality development," Zhang said.
"Upgrading their investment treaty, which was signed years ago under conditions that have changed, will bolster bilateral investment and promote the integration and cooperation of global supply and industrial chains," he added.
The ministry and its Russian counterpart have joined forces to complete a road map on high-quality development in goods and services trade, and are aiming to increase bilateral trade to $200 billion.
They have also agreed to promote development in cross-border e-commerce and trade in services, improve trade facilitation, expand market access for agricultural products, improve the use of expo platforms and actively implement the trade and economic cooperation agreement between China and the Eurasia Economic Union.
Cooperation has also been progressing between China and Russia on major strategic projects in fields such as nuclear energy, aviation and aerospace. The two nations are in active negotiations on an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in constructing an international lunar research station, according to Shu.
They will also strengthen coordination on policies, industries and projects, and deepen upstream and downstream cooperation in sectors including energy and minerals, agriculture and forestry, and industrial manufacturing and telecommunication to enhance infrastructure interconnection and the integration of industrial and supply chains.
The two nations will also further cooperation in fields such as technological innovation and multilateralism.