Russian chocolates displayed at a food and beverage expo in Shanghai last week. (Thepaper.cn/Shen Liang)
A total of 30 food products from Russia were exhibited at the 2017 China International Food and Beverage Expo, held last week in Shanghai. The items - which came from more than 50 Russian companies and included ice cream, candy, chocolate, beverages and honey - are set to move Sino-Russian cooperation another step forward.
Statistics from the Russian Export Center show that China has become a major consumer of Russian food, with the former purchasing $1.55 billion of food products in 2016, up by 20 percent from 2015. China and Russia have already made major achievements in bilateral agricultural cooperation. According to a report issued by Milknews, a Russian analysis center, and Souzmoloko, the national union of milk producers, Russia’s exports of dairy products to China increased by 170 percent to total $6.7 million.
That figure may well rise further in 2017, said Artyom Belov, executive director of Souzmoloko, adding that China is a crucial strategic destination for the country to expand its exports of dairy. China and Russia agreed at the recently concluded Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to establish an investment fund promoting regional development and cooperation, within which agriculture would be a priority.
Meanwhile, China conditionally ended its ban on Russian wheat at the end of 2015, and a long-term supply contract for agricultural products was signed by both countries in April, facilitating Russia’s agricultural exports to China under the framework of the Russia-China New Land Grain Corridor.
The volume of trade between China and Russia will hit $200 billion in 2020, said Sergey Lebedev, a representative of the Russian Export Center in China.