Economic Relations between Russia and China Increasing Inter-Dependence?

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1 Suomen Pankki Economic Relations between Russia and China Increasing Inter-Dependence? Bruegel 21 June 2016 Heli Simola, Senior Economist, BOFIT

2 Economic Relations between Russia and China Russia and China seem to have huge potential for economic cooperation Large neighboring markets Complementary production structures Year of China in Russia in 2007 Economic relations between countries have long time been even surprisingly narrow despite many years of high-level dialogue 2

3 Trade has increased notably and its structure has changed Trade between Russia and China, bn USD (in value added terms) 100 % 90 % 80 % 70 % 60 % 50 % Structure of bilateral value added trade, % Other Financial intermediation and business services Trade and transport services Exports from China to Russia Exports from Russia to China 40 % 30 % 20 % 10 % 0 % Chinese exports to Russia Russian exports to China Machinery, equipment and transport equipment Mining and quarrying, petroleum products Agriculture and food industry Source: Author s calculations based on OECD-WTO TiVA data 3

4 Bilateral dependency still low Supply (import) dependency Demand (export) dependency 100 % 100 % 90 % 90 % 80 % 80 % 70 % 70 % 60 % 60 % 50 % 50 % 40 % 40 % 30 % 30 % 20 % 20 % 10 % 10 % 0 % % China Russia China Russia EU28 NAFTA East and South East Asia China/Russia Other EU28 NAFTA East and South East Asia China/Russia Other - Bilateral dependency has increased, but remains low - Both more oriented towards other markets - Rather one-sided dependency of Russia from China than interdependency Source: Author s calculations based on OECD-WTO TiVA data 4

5 High-level relations blooming after Russia s relations with West cooling Sources: Kremlin, Xinhua. Russia s statement of pivot to Asia Hope to receive additional income and financing under western sanctions Much attention for new steps in cooperation Agreements on natural gas supplies from Russia to China Contract on Russia selling missile defense system to China Joint declaration on cooperation in coordinating development of Eurasian Economic Union and Silk Road Economic Belt 5

6 Trade development more moderate and again one-sided Total Change in Russian goods imports in , % 25 Share of Russia and China in each other's goods trade in 2013 and 2015, % US 20 EAEU 15 China 10 EU 5 Japan Korea China's share in Russian imports China's share in Russian exports Russia's share in China's imports Russia's share in China's exports Sources: Russian Customs, IMF DOTS 6

7 Investment flows have continued small and fallen Chinese direct investment flows to Russia, USD bn Russia and China not among each others most important investment partners FDI stock from Russia to China (incl. Hongkong) 1.5 bn USD Estimates for Chinese FDI stock in Russia vary from 1.5 bn to 25 bn USD MOFCOM MOFCOM adj. CIT CBR N.B. Figures from different sources are not comparable due to different methodologies. Chinese credit to Russian companies has not increased notably in general except some individual deals Chinese banks take Western sanctions into account Difficulties to agree on price Sources: MOFCOM, China Investment Tracker, CBR, author s calculations 7

8 Oil trade volumes and inter-dependency have increased reflecting earlier developments Volume of oil exports from Russia to China (million tons) Russia's oil exports by area in 2015 Japan 6 % Belarus 9 % Korea 5 % Other 3 % China 16 % China's oil imports by area in 2015 Other 42 % Saudi Arabia 15 % EU 61 % Russia 13 % Sources: CEIC, UN Comtrade Oman 9 % Iraq 10 % Angola 11 % 8

9 Natural gas agreements an important step forward, but much work remains to be done Power of Siberia 2 ( 30 bcm) China Central Asia pipeline (55 85 bcm) Power of Siberia ( 38 bcm) China - Myanmar pipeline (12 bcm) LNG facilities (55 bcm 88 bcm) Source: IEA 9

10 Arms trade an exception in economic relations Russian arms exports to China, volume index 2005=100 Arms trade between countries has been declining during past decade In arms trade opposite situation than in other economic relations SIPRI estimates that Russia still accounts 60-70% of Chinese arms imports Source: SIPRI 10

11 Practical implications of regional cooperation unclear and challenges remain Source: HKTDC 11

12 Future perspectives for economic cooperation depend largely on political relations Best potential for further increasing and deepening cooperation in the fields of energy and raw materials, infrastructure Politically the most sensitive areas Especially in these areas both seem to be rather striving for reduced dependency on any country instead of increasing inter-dependency Russia wants financing but is not willing to give up on economic independency China aims at securing diverse raw material supply and finding new markets for domestic industrial production Emphasis might be shifting to latter with China s rebalancing of growth model and already vast and diversified supply secured Often implies majority stakes and / or use of domestic materials, labour etc. Can a balanced approach acceptable to both be found or is it easier to find other partners? 12

13 Limited potential for increased cooperation in other sectors Traditional attractions of Chinese markets offer less possibilities for Russian companies Poor competitiveness in most other products than energy and raw materials, especially consumer products China is no more a market of cheap labor at least for Russian companies, as average wage in China appears to be already higher than in Russia Main entrance of the Matryoshka Park in Manchuria (Source: Kommersant) Russia s relatively large markets interest Chinese companies, but Investment hampered by problems in business environment Further increasing exports might be restricted by Russia s protectionist policies (reducing import dependency, import substitution) In sanctioned products China has less to offer and providing finance limited by risks 13

14 Conclusions Bilateral inter-dependency has increased, but remains low and is rather one-sided Recent warming of political relations has led to some important steps forward also in economic relations, but less results in practice In the near term, development of economic relations continues to rely largely on political considerations Thank You for Your Attention 14

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