IV China-Russia EXPO ended in Harbin

IV China-Russia EXPO and 23rd Harbin Trade Fair, which ended on June 19th 2017, achieved agreements of intent worth a total of $4.4 bln.

The fair attracted businessmen from 74 countries and regions of the world, with 1,249 companies presenting their own stands. 75 different companies represented Russian Federation.

Trade has grown by one third

Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of Russia confirmed by the statistical data the question of the importance of this joint EXPO and other events aimed on cooperation of two countries. He stated that starting beginning of 2017 compared to 2016 trade turnover between Russia and China has grown up on 30-40% ($66,1 bln). “We have to support the positive dynamic and such exhibitions help to do so”, – admitted Maxim Oreshkin, adding that there are plans to reach $200 bln in trade turnover by 2020.

More than 60 Russian corporations, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as delegations from 13 Russian regions participated in EXPO. Overall area of Russian exposition was 3,3K m2.

“YotaPhone” and turbines

One of the most important events of the EXPO was a presentation of new generation of “YotaPhone 3” smartphones, developed by Russian and Chinese specialists. The developers informed that the smartphone will be released in two versions – 64Gb and 128Gb onboard memory that will cost $350 and $450 respectively. As in previous models, there will be two independent displays, one on the front and another one (electronic ink) on the back of the smartphone.

Representatives of the “Rostec Сorporation” also shared the plans of further cooperation with China. Victor Kladov, Director for International Cooperation and Regional Policy Department of the “Rostec Сorporation” reported that Russian Helicopters Holding and Chinese “AVIC” are preparing draft contract on a heavy Russia-China helicopter AHL (Advanced Heavy Lifter) that might be signed by the end of this year.

In addition he said that developers of Russia-China wide-body long-range aircraft are planning to attract other countries to the project.

“United engine corporation” (a part of the “Rostec Сorporation”) and Chinese Harbin Turbine Company signed several shipping, licensed production and gas-turbine power plants development agreements.

Transportation question

One of the main topics on EXPO was the transport connection between the two countries. The issue was raised by Maxim Oreshkin, who mentioned as an example of assertive communication construction of the first railway bridge across the Amur River between Nizhneleninskoe (Russian Federation) and Tuntsyan (China) towns.

However, issues are not only regarding infrastructure but also mostly in current laws and regulations of both countries. Transport operators mention the presence of such barriers. “Existing intergovernmental agreement between Russia and China does not stipulate many things, because it is working since 1992. Now many questions are raised, especially regarding transportation of dangerous cargo, short-lived commodities, passenger transportation and licenses exchange”, – informed Ruslan Lugetskiy, Deputy Director General of the Automobile Transportation Agency.

Customs administrations can be the key to the resolution of this issue. On the EXPO relevant authorities from Russia, China and Mongolia reached an agreement on the formation of Tripartite Core Group that will be able to deal with an issue of customs cooperation.

Regions in search of investors

Several Russian regions sent their delegates to Harbin in search of Chinese investors on the one hand and to present their goods that are worth for export on the other. “We have offered our Chinese partners here about 10 investment projects, which include: construction of a bottled drinking water plant, electrical facilities and tourism”, – informed the Governor of Irkutsk Region Sergei Levchenko.

The Khabarovsk Territory offers to Chinese investors wood processing and mining manufactories, the Chelyabinsk Region – federal road to Ekaterinburg construction project, Nizhni Novgorod Region – joint production of hovercrafts.

On most part of the projects provisional arrangement are achieved. Aleksey Orlov, First Deputy Chairman of Sverdlovsk region Government, stated that Chinese partners showed their interest in project of antiviral drugs manufacturing in the region with estimated cost of 300 mil. rubles, and establishment of joint manufacture of fertilizes.

The company “Special Economic Zones” signed two agreements with one of the largest Chinese food manufacturer “Jilin Xingrong Food Co.” and with one of the largest tourist and hotel operator in Harbin “Harbin Modern Group Co.”. Both agreements are regarding development of the special economic zone Baikal harbor, where tourist project are carried out by 12 residents. Chinese investors are about to be next.

Chinese investors also were interested in the product supply that is manufactured in the regions. The Nizhni Novgorod Region reached provisional arrangements on delivering ice-cream, chocolate and premium class wallpapers. The Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District is planning to send to China the deer farming production and wild-growing herbs (northern berry jam and herbal teas).

Russian delicacies

Food that was brought from Russia was also a point of interest from Chinese investors. Honey and cookies manufacturers were on the top of the wish-list of Chinese people, said one of the event managers on the final press-conference. Russian ice-cream was declared as an unofficial brand of the EXPO. As the Chinese businessmen say, the bestseller is a Russian cream-based ice cream, but at large Chinese people think much of any ice-cream from Russia. “We sell Russian ice-cream in China for 7 years, and every year our turnover grows. The story how Russian President Vladimir Putin presented to the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping Russian ice-cream was mentioned much in Chinese media, that is why it became famous here”, – said one of the Chinese businessman.

Other products from Russia also were in favor: sausages and other meat products, candies, canned fish and alcohol. Chinese people accept such products as an “interesting exotics”.

About the EXPO

First China-Russia EXPO was held in Harbin in 2014. Exhibition area exceeded 86 thsd. m2 with more than 2,7 thsd. Russian and China stands. The second EXPO was held in Harbin again in 2015 with more than 1,279 companies and more than 10 thsd. visitors (about 4 thsd. from Russia only).

Last year China-Russia EXPO was held in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The exhibition attracted over 2,3 thsd. Chinese businessmen from 16 provinces. As a result of the EXPO 28 agreements were signed with estimate cost of 53 bln Rubles.