Business on China-Russia border under strain amid COVID-19 quarantine measures

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/5 14:08:05


Business on the border between China and Russia is going through a difficult time amid the COVID-19 outbreak, as the tourism and retailing sectors brace for the hardest hit by the increasingly strict quarantine measures. 

Businesspeople in the Russian city of Vladivostok, which is near China's Northeast Heilongjiang Province, are witnessing a sharp plunge in their business volume. Zhang Yuanhang, a businessman from Heilongjiang said that his hotel business in Vladivostok, which was just launched, was told to remain closed until June. 

A total of 4 million yuan ($ 564,000) was invested in just the furnishing of Zhang's hotel rooms, and if not for the pandemic, the hotel would be at the peak of its business this season.

"The pandemic in China is largely contained, but it has just started here in Russia," Zhang said, "Now the hotels have no guests due to the coronavirus."

As of Sunday a total of 4,731 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Russia. On Saturday, the neighboring Heilongjiang Province reported 13 confirmed cases, all of which have recent travel history to Russia. 

Both countries have also leveled up the travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus. In late March, China suspended the entry of almost all foreign citizens, and at the end of January, Russia closed all 16 of its land border crossings with China, and all goods have since had to be transported by sea.

However, the increasingly restrictive measures on travel are also affecting the overall bilateral trade in the short term. Peng Hui, the general manager of the Sunward Equipment Group based in Changsha, Central China's Hunan Province told the Global Times that the restriction has hampered the long standing partnership with Russian factories it has built over the years. 

"Recently sea transportation has increased the cost of logistics by two fold, and many of my clients have significantly cut order numbers due to the short term grim prospects," Peng said. 

Global Times 

Posted in: ECONOMY

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