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"The main thing is the opportunity to earn"

Why China is interested in the development of processing in Russia, explains Vitaly Monkevich

EastRussia, president of the Russian-Asian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RASPP), Vitaly Monkevich, clarifies the specifics of relations between Russia and China.


Vitaliy Monkevich

President of the Russian-Asian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RASPP)
- A new Russian-Chinese business year has begun. What are the results of cooperation between the Russian Far East and China over the past year?
- The main result is the volume of economic cooperation, amounting to $ 102 billion, which is higher than the 2015-28%. As for specific projects, where there are certain results, the Union led work on projects in the field of infrastructure cooperation: these are stories about ports, airports, high-speed routes.

- What are the difficulties in cooperation between Russia and China?
- The main difficulty is misunderstanding of each other. China does not understand how to communicate with Russia, in particular, because of a lack of understanding of the Russian mentality, as well as how exactly Russia is disposed towards it. As for the latter, over the past year, the union managed to convince China that Russia in relation to it is nothing but a friendly-minded country. And even more - ready to cooperate with him on an equal footing. On the Russian side, misunderstanding consists mostly of a misunderstanding of Chinese citizens. At the same time, there is also a lack of understanding of the principles of interaction with him, of exactly how to work with Chinese partners. All these moments, which are not clear to Russia today in China, are trying to eliminate the union on their part.

- This is the most misunderstanding in the end strongly hinders?
- It translates into the complexity of negotiating with China. Those some successes, which still exist, are due to the fact that much is being done of what makes life in China easier for Russia. Territories are developing, Chinese companies are involved in the process of creating additional jobs, cooperation is underway on such a particularly important project as the Great Silk Road. I think there will be new successes.

- Which Far Eastern regions are most interesting for Chinese partners?
- I’ll highlight not the regions, but a number of Far Eastern cities. This is Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Nakhodka. We are talking about expanding our presence in such areas as high-speed highways, ports, and logistics - and indeed in Russia as a whole. The Union is just working to ensure cooperation developed in these areas. Similar prospects have a number of cities in Kamchatka - the union is working on the issue of investing into the State Development Bank of China there.

Is this a closed list of priorities?
- For the Chinese business, the main thing is the opportunity to earn money. Accordingly, if we offer a profitable project from the spheres of manufacturing or processing industry, then the Chinese will also invest in it - be it machine building or light industry. Therefore, in addition to transport and logistics complex and agriculture, I see the prospects for expanding China's presence in the processing industry of the Far East.

- Is China really interested in the Russian Far East, and not in cooperation with the US and the European Union?
- China today focuses on its neighbor, that is, in Russia, including its Far East, because it largely links its development with the Great Silk Road project. You can even say more - this project is the most relevant for him.
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