MOSCOW, August 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Relations with China get move ot the forefront against the backdrop of Western sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine, the president of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Monday.
“A change in the vector of trade and economic cooperation between Russia and the West looks quite natural in the existing international situation,” Sergei Katyrin said.
This is not a new process, but the crisis in Ukraine has given a boost to Russia’s relations with countries in the Asia Pacific and the BRICS group of nations, he said.
More than 60 Russian entrepreneurs participated in the recent business forum of BRICS group of five major emerging national economies, Katyrin added. “The BRICS Development Bank and the pool of currency reserves may become a valuable alternative for Russia in conditions of possible new sanctions in the financial sector,” the chamber’s president said.
“Trade and economic relations have become more intensive with Latin America, countries of North Africa, but China remains our main trade and economic partner,” he added. “The development and diversification of trade becomes a priority task for our foreign economic agencies and business,” Katyrin added.
He said the chamber is “actively advancing investment projects and supporting Russian exporters to China,” noting an increase of Chinese direct investment in the Russian economy over the recent years.
According to the Russian Ministry for Economic Development, last year it stood at $253 million. The total amount of cumulative direct investment has reached $1.7 billion, Katyrin said, adding that Russia’s direct investment in China was more modest, just $36 million last year.
The most lucrative sectors for Chinese investment are spheres of energy saving, telecommunications, construction, resource development and agriculture.
A sub-commission for trade and economic cooperation of the Russian-Chinese commission paving the way for regular prime ministerial meetings will meet in Moscow on September 2. The session will be chaired by the two co-chairmen - Russia’s Minister for Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev and Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng.