Bullish Russian traders in the vast Chinese market at CIIE
Visitors visit the Russian booth at the 4th CIIE on November 8, 2021. Photo: Li Hao / GT
Russian companies selling everything from alcoholic beverages and packaged goods to dairy products are looking at the Chinese market with great confidence during the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) underway in Shanghai, despite the inconvenience posed by the pandemic of COVID-19.
Such trust between businesses also comes from the fact that Russia and China enjoy historically close bilateral relations as well as rapidly growing trade, despite changing global geopolitical trends and the negative impact of the COVID pandemic. 19.
Having been in the same temporal and spatial areas has been a protocol in China to trace and locate close contacts of people infected with the COVID-19 virus, but the Global Times found that CIIE traders used the same strategy to be with their potential customers in cyberspace.
Travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic prevented many Russian business leaders and owners from attending the exhibition in person, but that did not prevent them from participating in the show with the help of meeting rooms. virtual meeting.
Anna Kirreva, a Russian business representative with cookie producer Morozov, got up at 3 a.m. every day this week to meet with customers via the cloud.
“We signed an agreement last year, but it was unsuccessful due to a logistical bottleneck. However, that did not dampen my enthusiasm for the Chinese market, and there was a number of potential buyers so far, “Anna, neatly dressed as if attending a formal business meeting, told the Global Times via a Zoom chat. “I have no doubts that all of our hard work and energy will pay off in the end.”
Russia sent 34 companies to the 4th CIIE, the Russian Embassy announced on its Sina Weibo account on November 2.
Due to strict epidemic control and prevention measures, the overall visitor traffic of this year’s CIIE was reduced compared to CIIE 2020, which was also held under the influence of the epidemic. .
However, some Russian companies are very confident.
Ovchinnikova Ekaterina, sales representative for Russian dairy company Svitlogorie, told the Global Times that the number of visitors actually exceeded their expectations.
Most of those who had to make it to the CIIE – the professional buyers – did, said Ekaterina, who shared the company’s dairy products and ice cream with customers who came in constant stream.
“Our company has a franchise cartoon show, and it is now broadcast to a number of Chinese cities,” Ekaterina said. “I think the chances of our business being successful here increase as our brand exposure increases.”
Analysts said that increased exports of agricultural products from Russia to China will improve the quality and optimize the structure of bilateral trade, in addition to giving a significant boost to the value of bilateral trade and helping to achieve a $ 200 billion trade target set by the leaders of the two countries. .
“Natural and high-quality Russian agricultural products belong to a fast-growing commodity category in Chinese imports,” Song Kui, chairman of the China-Russia Regional Economic Research Institute, told the Global Times on Tuesday. contemporary.
An official from the Russian Export Center told the Global Times that due to the impact of the virus on cross-border trade, this year the CIIE’s biggest winner may be alcoholic beverages, which are the least picky when it comes to transport. Other products that are expected to see strong increases are edible oils and cookies.
Larisa Belova, sales manager for Russian distiller Veresk, told the Global Times via WeChat on Tuesday that she spoke to around 40 potential buyers through online chats during this year’s CIIE.
“Four customers have indicated their intention to buy products from us, up from zero in 2019,” Belova said.
Supported by strong momentum and stable trade growth, bilateral trade is expected to reach a new high this year, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce in September.
Thanks to the complementary structure of their merchandise trade, China’s foreign trade with Russia climbed 30.9 percent year-on-year to $ 115.66 billion in the first 10 months of 2021, data shows. published by the General Customs Administration in November.
Russia’s trade representative in China Alexei Dakhnovsky reportedly said on the sidelines of the 4th CIIE that although Russian companies face strong competition in the Chinese market, even part of the Chinese market, even a niche market , can mean a lot to businesses.