Far East offers a fountain of opportunities
Deeper Sino-Russian economic and security cooperation in the region will help to promote peace and development
increase further this year.
In Sino-Russian cooperation, the complementary traits of the two economies will greatly help them resist and reduce the adverse impacts of the China-US trade friction on China and of Western sanctions on Russia.
That President Xi Jinping attended the forum demonstrates the importance China attaches to the development of the Far East and economic cooperation with Russia. China is the region’s largest trading partner and its top source of foreign direct investment.
To a large extent, Xi’s participation in the forum will help change the phenomenon of “political closeness but economic aloofness” in Sino-Russian relations. Looking ahead, closer cooperation among local governments and small and medium-sized enterprises will help the two countries unlock the potential that economic cooperation holds.
Xi’s participation in the forum also will prompt Russia to pay more attention to the lack of adequate legal institutions and enforcement in the Far East. Future cooperation on environmental protection, whose importance Putin emphasized in his speech at the forum, is significant for not only China and Russia but also other countries.
China accounts for 80 percent of the FDI in Russia’s Far East, which will certainly increase in the future. Apart from the traditional industry of energy, Beijing and Moscow will accord priority to cooperation on tertiary industries, since China’s strength in the field can help Russia to develop its relatively laggard tertiary sector.
China’s e-commerce platforms are expected to play to their advantage in the Far East. And as an infrastructure construction giant, China could greatly help promote Russia’s infrastructure development, while Russia’s low-cost electricity can help China fuel its development in the border region.
In addition, China’s pool of labor can complement Russia’s lack of workforce, and their economic cooperation in the Far East could make the region’s economic growth outstrip Russia’s overall growth in the future, creating more opportunities for China in energy, capacity and technological cooperation.
Among Chinese enterprises’ increasing investment in Russia of late, plenty of successful examples have emerged, although investment risks remain a matter of concern for the investors. Therefore, Chinese investors and entrepreneurs eager to set foot in the Far East must pay attention to risk prevention.
First, they should give priority to the longterm programs that are mutually beneficial and complementary, such as exploitation of Russia’s mineral and forest resources, and in-depth cooperation on vegetables, fruits and other food products.
Second, investors should fully acquaint themselves with Russia’s laws and regulations and learn about its national characteristics and local customs and practices.
Third, Chinese enterprises should consider forming joint ventures with or investing in representative Russian companies to mitigate risks.
As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and strong proponents of a multipolar world, China and Russia have seen bilateral ties reach an all-time high. With the United States resorting to unilateralism and trade protectionism, the world order faces profound challenges.
Against this background, deeper Sino-Russian cooperation in the Far East in both economic development and security and military exchanges will help to promote peace and development in Northeast Asia.