Depreciation of Ruble to boost Chinese investment in Russia

Statistics from the Chinese General Administration of Customs show that total imports and exports between China and Russia from January to November 2015 dropped by 29.3% to $61.335bn. Exports to Russia plummeted 36% to $31.199bn, while imports from Russia fell 20.6% to $30.136bn.

According to Chinese Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Shen Danyang, China’s foreign direct investment in Russia also declined 15.2% January through November 2015 versus the same period in 2014.

However, this slump in China’s FDI in Russia is not attributable to the Ruble’s depreciation, says He Zhenwei, Deputy Secretary General of the China Overseas Development Association (“CODA”). On the contrary, he claimed in a special interview with Russia’s Sputnik that the depreciation of the Ruble may create tremendous investment opportunities in Russia.

He holds that despite Russia’s unattractive investment climate, investing in Russia has become more cost effective due to the depreciation of the Ruble, which is good news for Chinese investors as they can now purchase raw materials for infrastructure projects at much lower cost. Further, in 2016 the Russian government unveiled a multitude of incentives and policies aimed at attracting investment, including the establishment of advanced development zones.

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