The contract between Beijing and Moscow amounted to almost 2.5 trillion Russian rubles ($25.8 billion) – the biggest in their food-trade history under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Russian state-owned news agency TASS confirmed this development, citing a Russian insider during the third Belt and Road Forum.
Karen Ovsepyan of the New Land Grain Corridor (NLGC) – a logistics center being created in Russia's Ural Mountains, Siberia and its Far East area to assist China-Russia trade – expounded on the deal. Under the contract, Moscow will sell 70 million tons of grain, legumes, and oilseeds to its southern neighbor. This comes as a benefit to Russia, which has been looking for more collaboration in Eurasia amidst Western sanctions arising from its invasion of Ukraine.
Ovsepyan said China, which has made food security a strategic priority amidst increasing food demand and a doubtful worldwide market, will receive the agreed-upon food over 12 years. She added that the corridor through which the food is to be delivered will be launched as soon as an intergovernmental agreement is signed. This could be in late November or early December, according to Ovsepyan.
The deal also introduced Russian state-owned Sberbank's invitation to China to consider accepting its low-carbon energy-certification system that seeks to aid its clients in decreasing their carbon footprint. Russia, in exchange, will assist in promoting a similar Chinese system in the Russian market, Sberbank Vice President Mikhail Susov announced at the fifth Russian-Chinese Energy Business Forum in the Chinese capital. (Related: New Energy Market Order: Russia, China, Iran sign over a dozen new trade agreements – mostly concerning energy.)
Susov remarked that the two nations should support each other in this regard, as "it is important to secure international recognition" of the energy certificates they issue. "This will enable counterparties from other countries, including China, to acquire Russian goods and resources with a lower carbon footprint, thereby promoting the transition to low-carbon energy sources," he continued.
Economic partnership between the neighbors has increased as bad relationships with Western nations and the war in Ukraine have limited trade and delayed supply chains, with China purchasing more food and energy from Russia.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak announced at the energy forum that Russian exports of energy goods to China so far this year have increased by 17 percent in comparison with the same time last year.
TASS quoted Novak as saying Russia hopes to see the participation of Chinese corporations in terms of hydrocarbon and alternative energy sources.
Meanwhile, in his opening speech during the forum, Chinese Vice-Premier Ding Xuexiang asked for better connectivity between the two nations to expedite energy trade. Ding also expressed interest in pushing for more cooperation in the development of renewable resources and worldwide energy governance.
China's trade with Russia leaped substantially in the first ten months of 2023, based on official data issued on November 7, underscoring deepening bilateral cooperation between the two nations.
From January to October, China's trade with Russia surged by 27.7 percent to $196.48 billion, with China's exports to Russia rising 52.2 percent year-on-year to $90.08 billion and imports from Russia growing 12.4 percent to $106.41 billion, as reported by data from China's General Administration of Customs (GAC).
The growth rate in China's trade with Russia was remarkably quick than China’s trade with several other major trading partners, including the European Union and the United States.
The GAC data showed that in the first 10 months, in U.S. dollar terms, China's trade with the EU fell by 7.5 percent year-on-year, while trade with America dropped by 13.2 percent.
Experts stated that trade between China and Russia is on track to exceed $200 billion this year, reaching the target set by the two nations in 2019 one year ahead of schedule. The strong growth in bilateral trade arrives as China and Russia have been deepening win-win economic and trade partnerships through multiple efforts.
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