MOSCOW: Russia plans to shift the focus of its foreign trade from Europe to Asia, prioritising India and China.
A foreign trade strategy through 2020 approved by the Russian Cabinet on Monday calls for reorienting the foreign trade gradually from the European to Asian markets, said a Russian government official.
Apart from pushing for closer economic integration with its ex-Soviet allies in the Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union – Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Moscow plans to step up economic ties with India, China, Iran, Afghanistan and Mongolia.
“China and India in future will replace Europe as Russia’s main trading partners,” said the official. “They are key markets which have been growing more dynamically than the European Union.”
Russia will continue to source advanced technologies and management knowhow from Europe, and to acquire European assets, said the unnamed official. At the same time, it would pursue a far more ambitious goal of increasing its presence in Asian markets through an aggressive export policy.
While oil and gas will continue to dominate exports, Moscow plans to double the share of engineering goods in its export basket from 6-7 per cent today to 14 per cent by 2020, he said.
Export insurance agency
Russia’s Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiulina said the government is planning to set up an export insurance agency to support the Russian high-tech export drive.
Russia and China on Tuesday signed a long-negotiated deal to build an oil pipeline from Siberia across the Chinese border. The deal signed on the sidelines of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao visit to Moscow provides for the supply of about 15 million tonnes of oil per year along a side pipeline that would run from the trunk East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline, which is still under construction.
Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for switching in trade with China from dollars to roubles and yuan. Trade between the two countries is expected to touch $50 billion this year and is projected to increase to between $60 and $80 billion by 2010.
6 months ago