St. Petersburg International Economic Forum kicks off, with focus on China-Russia cooperation
Published: Jun 06, 2024 03:43 AM
The venue for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Photo: Courtesy of the Roscongress Foundation

The venue for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Photo: Courtesy of the Roscongress Foundation

The 27th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) opened on Wednesday with the participation of delegates from 139 countries and regions, the Xinhua News Agency reported. With China-Russia economic cooperation on the rise, the SPIEF is set to boost bilateral investment and trade, experts said.

The forum, with the theme of "The Formation of New Areas of Growth as the Cornerstone of a Multipolar World," will focus on key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets, and the world, according to the organizers.

The four-day forum will feature more than 400 business events including seminars, dialogues and panel discussions, covering topics ranging from global economic transition to advanced technology development.

Since its inception in 1997, the SPIEF has evolved into a renowned global platform for the business community to discuss critical economic issues facing Russia and the world. 

Prior to the opening of the forum, St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov said that the city is considering creating a cluster for Chinese entrepreneurs as the city is engaging in positive dialogue with Asian partners, Russian media outlet Sputnik News reported. 

Chinese premium auto brand Hongqi will also present its flagship models and new models for the Russian market, Tass reported. 

The economic cooperation between China and Russia is a rising trend and it has been developing rapidly in the past few years, Li Xin, director of the Center for Russian and Central Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The forum is expected to discuss facilitating bilateral investment and payments, Li said.

"Russia has historically focused its investments on Europe, but with China's market becoming more open, Russian investors are now exploring opportunities in China. In the future, Russia is likely to further expand its presence in the Chinese market,” Li added.

In terms of bilateral trade, while energy still plays a significant role in trade between China and Russia, the proportion of high value-added products is increasing.

“China primarily imports energy and agricultural products from Russia, while Russia is transitioning from importing light industrial products to machinery, electronics, and automobiles. Imports of these products from China are expected to continue expanding in the future," Li said.

According to data from the General Administration of Customs of China, the trade volume between China and Russia increased by 4.7 percent year-on-year to reach $76.58 billion from January to April this year. Chinese imports from Russia rose 10.2 percent year-on-year to $43.84 billion. 

In 2023, bilateral trade reached $240.1 billion, achieving the target of $200 billion ahead of schedule, and demonstrating the strong resilience and broad prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Russia.