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29 May 2019

Russia and China Ties Stronger and Deeper

On May 29, 2019, the International Conference «Russia and China: Cooperation in a New Era» started in Moscow. The Fifth edition of the Conference is organized by the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in collaboration with CREON Group and China-Russia Friendship Association.

Top-ranking participants from Russia and China are reiterating that the Russian-Chinese partnership is now at its highest level of development in the 70-year history. «The ambitious goals pursued by Moscow and Beijing are demanding not only stronger economic and humanitarian ties, but also the expansion of cooperation in breakthrough areas and at all levels», – as Igor Ivanov, President of RIAC , former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, said in the opening speech at this milestone event.

In his welcoming address, Maksim Akimov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, outlined a clear goal in the bilateral relations for the nearest future: to double the trade turnover between Russia and China and to achieve $200 billion compared to $108 billion in 2018.

Li Hui, Chinese Ambassador to Russia, stressed that «the trade and economic cooperation between China and EAEU member countries has overgrown the stage of stimulating development through projects, and is now on the edge of a new phase of the crucial historical importance where the One Belt, One Road initiative converges with the EAEU». The Ambassador called for «stronger Interaction in the energy sector, and diversification into other areas of cooperation».

The session devoted to the ‘Russian-Chinese economic cooperation in a global context’ featured discussions on traditional priorities and new growth points. In particular, Fares Kilzie, Head of CREON Group, Founder of the private equity investment Creon Energy Fund, Member of RIAC, suggested that «localization is the new driver for building up the relations between Russia and China. This form of cooperation is actively supported by government, and will soon become an integral part of implementing every major industrial project». Such policy is aimed at attracting investment from the Chinese side, supporting large projects like Amur GPP (Gazprom) and Arctic LNG-2 (Novatek), creating jobs, and most importantly at overcoming technological dependence on imported components. «In our turn, we shall convert our own 20 years of experience into supporting and implementing localization projects. Our financial instrument is the private equity investment fund based in Luxembourg, through which we invest in joint venture structures. As part of our work within RIAC, we shall continue to cooperate with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Chinese companies in order to open up and to realize new opportunities for joint investment», – concluded Dr. Kilzie.