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"The new benefits still need to be persuaded"
Representative of the State Development Bank of China on investments in the Far East
Deputy Head of the Representative Office of the State Development Bank of China
In mid-February at the opening of the Russian-Chinese business year-2017, Organized by the Russian-Asian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RASPP), EastRussia asked the deputy head of the State Development Bank of China, Zhao Huntu, who was present at the ceremony, which prevents the business from China from actively exploring the Russian Far East.
- The Far East is the most interesting for China in Russia today. First, because of what is his close neighbor, and secondly because of his geographical location. The first reason is more important. A close neighbor is not only one with whom there is territorial proximity, but also one with whom there is cordiality and a better understanding than with anyone, mutual understanding. If not the greatest, but very significant interest is the Far East and we, as a representative of one of the banks of China, operating in the Russian market. That is why we always gave a very important place to cooperation with the Far East and were interested in it.
Another factor that favors the activities of the State Development Bank of China in the Far East is a specialized federal department in the person of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East: it is convenient to work with it because it has a powerful platform of opportunities, in particular, business ties and specific projects. The bank plans to expand the business of Chinese state-owned companies to the Far East, because now the private business of China is mainly working here, which is not correct. At the same time, it is impossible to single out any projects in the Far East with the participation of China that could be called successful in the full sense of the word: the very mechanism of the business from the PRC is still being worked out here.
I do not see any special barriers hampering the activities in the Far East. It is simply a matter of China's inadequate knowledge of the Far East, in particular its regional policy. And also in the absence of transparency of local consumption, that is, misunderstanding of the behavior of demand in those or other regions. In addition, its own negative role is played by the lack of clarity of economic benefits for the Chinese businessmen in the Far East. The new preferential mechanisms that appeared in the Far East are quite clear. But in order to use them in China, it must take some time, required for their full conviction in it.
At the same time, for the emergence of the desire for direct investment both in Russia as a whole and in the Far East, there is a lack of stable economic policy and political development. And for the emergence of China's investment not only in the commodity sector, agriculture or transport, but also, for example, in engineering and high technology - the volume of local demand. In general, the cooperation between Russia and China is hampered by insufficient knowledge of each other's languages, as well as a certain difference in mentality. It is expressed that while China, within the framework of that or dialogue, is trying to reach the golden mean - that is, striving to achieve the formula half to half, since Confucianism requires it, then Russia is striving to get more.