China, Russia to hold business forum in Shanghai, aiming for high-level bilateral cooperation, regional integration amid rocky global economic recovery: experts
High-level bilateral cooperation conforms to globalization trend: expert
Published: May 22, 2023 08:39 PM
A view of the scenery along the Moskva River in Moscow, Russia Photo: VCG

A view of the scenery along the Moskva River in Moscow, Russia Photo: VCG

China and Russia are scheduled to hold a business forum in Shanghai on Tuesday, sources confirmed to the Global Times on Monday. 

Experts said that the forum is an implementation of common understandings reached between the two heads of state, and it will provide an important opportunity for the two countries to deepen industrial cooperation in sectors including high-tech and information technology.

They said that increased economic and trade cooperation conforms to the globalization trend, and it is urgent in terms of bringing benefits to the improvement of people's livelihoods and bolstering the global economic recovery in a volatile international environment, especially US-led small cliques' decoupling push and geopolitical tensions.

Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin will lead a high-profile delegation to attend a China-Russia business forum held in Shanghai on Tuesday, the Financial Times reported. Top state company officials including Sberbank's Herman Gref and Rostelecom's Mikhail Oseevsky, as well as a group of businessmen from Russian industrial companies, will attend the forum, it said.

"The forum is scheduled to kick off on Tuesday afternoon, and we are in Shanghai for the event," a manager of a Chinese company operating in Russia told the Global Times on Monday.

Song Kui, president of the Contemporary China-Russia Regional Economy Research Institute, also confirmed the holding of the forum.

At the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Qiang, Mishustin is scheduled to visit China from Tuesday to Wednesday, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. The Russian prime minister will also travel to Shanghai besides Beijing, the ministry said.

"The engagement between Chinese and Russian enterprises is a new highlight of bilateral cooperation and further implementation of deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era," Song told the Global Times on Monday.

He said that this event provides an important opportunity for expanding China-Russia industrial cooperation in sectors including high-tech, equipment manufacturing, robotics and bio-technology.

Da Zhigang, director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday that the importance of the reported forum is self-evident, against the backdrop of complex international geopolitical tensions, the Group of Seven (G7) misrepresenting China-Russia ties and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The forum "sends a signal that the two countries hope to deepen high-level cooperation and expand trade, while injecting confidence into regional integrated development and boosting bilateral and multilateral cooperation," he said.

China-Russia trade has gained momentum over recent years, reaching $73.15 billion in the first four months of this year, up 41.3 percent year-on-year, according to data released by China's General Administration of Customs.

As Russia increasingly pivots to the East for trade, it is making new moves in its Far East region so as to drive up trade and investment with China. For example, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the cabinet and the central bank to study the conclusion of an intergovernmental agreement on the Russia-China New Land Grain Corridor by October 1, Russia's Sputnik news agency recently reported.

However, the current situation of economic and trade cooperation between China and Russia, characterized mainly by trade in resources and bulk commodities, cannot meet the demand for high-level cooperation between the two countries, Da said.

"The exchanges of Chinese and Russian businesses are timely, as it's urgent for China and Russia to expand trade cooperation to sectors with higher added-value through industrial and supply chain cooperation and digital technologies," he said, noting that the forum will set the direction for China-Russia economic and trade cooperation and create more cooperation models.

As the visit of the Russian prime minister coincides with the G7 Summit, Western media hyped that China was aiming to balance the moves of the G7 by strengthening trade ties with Russia.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin stressed at a regular press briefing on Friday that China-Russia cooperation does not target any third party and shall be free from disruption or coercion by any third party. 

"China has always carried out normal economic and trade cooperation with Russia and other countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit," Wang said.

 "Economic and trade ties between China and Russia conform to international rules as well as the globalization trend, which will benefit people's livelihoods and the healthy development of the global economy," Song said.