This is Mishustin’s first visit to China as prime minister. Photo: Dmitry Astakhov/POOL/TASS
Mikhail Mishustin began a two-day visit to China on Tuesday. The first point on the program is Shanghai, where the prime minister arrived in the morning.
This is Mishustin’s first visit to China as prime minister. “Visit China as soon as possible” Mishustin was invited by the country’s leader, Xi Jinping. Comrade Xi himself was in Russia only two months ago and held talks with Putin and Mishustin. Then it was decided to actively develop cooperation between the two countries.
Shanghai is China’s largest financial center, “the showcase of the Chinese economic miracle.” It is no coincidence that it was decided to hold a Russian-Chinese business forum here. From the panoramic windows of the newly built conference center, there was a magnificent view of the skyscrapers and the Bund of Vaitan, a favorite place for citizens and tourists. The forum was attended by representatives of the largest Russian and Chinese companies. This is the largest post-pandemic forum with the participation of business circles from the two countries.
“Please take a seat, don’t talk loudly and don’t move!” the forum organizers warned before Mikhail Mishustin entered the room.
“Russia was subjected to unprecedented sanctions pressure last year, but we not only survived, we continued to develop,” Mishustin noted, confirming it with numbers.
Inflation in Russia at the beginning of May slowed down to 2.3% per annum. This is the lowest figure among all European countries. Unemployment is also at a record low of 3.5%. Over the past year, the foreign trade turnover has increased, exports have grown by 20%.
China has been Russia’s main trading partner for more than 10 years. In January-March, trade turnover between the two countries increased by a third compared to last year. As expected, by the end of this year, trade should reach a record, exceeding 200 billion dollars. At the same time, two thirds of settlements are already made in national currencies.
Mishustin said that in the new open conditions
additional opportunities to expand the presence of Chinese companies in Russia and to launch Russian production facilities in China. The Prime Minister said that Russia is ready to increase the supply of agricultural products to China. According to him, bilateral trade in agricultural products increased by 42% last year, exceeding $7 billion, and in the first quarter of this year growth was already over 90%.
Mishustin named shipbuilding, the machine tool industry, drone production, the timber industry, as well as the supply of hydrocarbons to China as promising areas for cooperation with China.
Mishustin also suggested developing air links with China. And, of course, both countries are interested in restoring the tourist flow. Before the start of the pandemic, according to the results of 2019, the number of tourist trips from China to Russia amounted to 2 million, and from Russia to China – 2.3 million. Now the authorities of the two countries set themselves the task of at least at least reaching the same figures.