Chinese carmakers now make up around 40% of the Russian market, up from last year’s 5%, a prominent businessman told RT
Chinese companies have greatly benefited from the pullout of Western companies from the Russian market, Zhou Liqun, chairman of the Chinese Entrepreneurs’ Union of Russia, told RT on Sunday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Zhou said Chinese businesses have been actively filling the niches left by the exit of Western companies and are eager to expand their presence in Russia further.
“The withdrawal of Western companies from Russia has created vast opportunities for Chinese businessmen and enterprises to cooperate with Russia. For example, in the vehicle manufacturing sector: many Chinese carmakers have entered the Russian market throughout the past year. While previously they made up only 5-6% of the market, now it is almost 40%,” Zhou stated.
He noted that China has been among Russia’s major trade partners for the past 14 years, and both countries have created many platforms and opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.
“Our cooperation framework is very convenient for both sides, stable political relations between our countries promote the development of trade and business relations. Chinese businessmen are interested in Russia’s raw materials, Russian businessmen are interested in Chinese machinery and equipment. This makes our cooperation mutually beneficial and opens up potential for development,” he added.
Zhou noted that since the introduction of Western sanctions on Moscow, Russia and China have accelerated the use of their own currencies in trade, which has benefitted both nations. To date, 80-85% of all transactions between Russia and China are carried out in either yuan or rubles, and given the rapid expansion of mutual trade and cooperation, this percentage is likely to grow further.
“Businesses in both Russia and China are already accustomed to using national currencies in cross-border transactions. It is very convenient for direct cooperation. We expect the ratio of yuan and ruble transactions in mutual trade to grow to 90%, depending on the type of product,” he said.
Zhou added that China takes great interest in the development of Russia’s Far East, both as a supply source and trade partner. He noted that to date, China is involved in 58 projects in the area, including the construction of a petrochemical complex in Amur Region, as well as a number of projects in agriculture and infrastructure.
“China’s cooperation with the Far East has great potential,” Zhou said.