Rus­sian com­modi­ties a hit in North­east China

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

Liu Ruiguo is ladling flour into a sack in a gro­cery store in Changchun, cap­i­tal of north­east China's Jilin prov­ince. "I of­ten buy Rus­sian flour," Liu said, sur­rounded by a cor­nu­copia of Rus­sian com­modi­ties. "The noo­dles and dumplings made with it have a bet­ter tex­ture."

In north­east China, Rus­sian im­ports have been all the rage, since a freight train con­nected the re­gion with Europe last year. The Changchun-ManzhouliEurope In­ter­na­tional Rail Freight Line has trans­ported cargo worth more than 35 mil­lion euros since Au­gust, and in re­turn the trains have brought novel, cheap goods like vodka, tiramisu and wild Siberian honey. In a Rus­sian store in Changchun a bot­tle of vodka costs only 45 yuan ($6.9), while tiramisu made five days ago costs only 30 yuan. Some items like flour are even cheaper than their Chi­nese coun­ter­parts.

On Thurs­day, a Rus­sian com­pany set up shop in a bonded zone in Changchun. The com­pany, wholly Rus­sian owned, mainly im­ports choco­late, candy and honey from Rus­sia, while pur­chas­ing Chi­nese agri­cul­tural prod­ucts for ex­port. The Chi­nese govern­ment is en­cour­ag­ing this kind of trade in the re­gion, hav­ing re­cently ap­proved a bonded zone in Hei­longjiang prov­ince, which bor­ders Rus­sia. Cov­er­ing more than 3 square km in Xiang­fang district of pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal Harbin, the zone is de­signed for cus­toms clear­ance, bonded pro­cess­ing, bonded lo­gis­tics and trade ser­vices, said an of­fi­cial with Harbin Busi­ness Bureau on Thurs­day. "The zone will be good for eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion and trade with Rus­sia, and par­tic­u­larly in ma­chin­ery, bio­med­i­cine and food," said the of­fi­cial.

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