The volume of trade between Russia and China could match last year’s level of $110 billion if it continues to develop at the current pace, said Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov.

The Russian diplomat, who visited Shanghai as an honored guest of the third China International Import Expo, told TASS that the coronavirus pandemic has not hurt the two nations’ trade.

“In the first nine months, according to Chinese statistics, we are practically at the level of last year. The decrease in trade turnover is about two percent,” he said, adding that the current volume of trade is almost $80 billion and is expected to reach $110 billion by year-end.

“It’s a pity, of course, that we were unable to increase trade, but, on the other hand, it is encouraging that it did not decline very much,” Denisov added.

Trade between the two countries has been growing, and in 2019 Moscow and Beijing said they had eliminated all the barriers that could impede their fast-developing cooperation. The sides also announced an ambitious goal of doubling the volume of trade to $200 billion by 2024.

China’s new ambassador in Moscow, Zhang Hanhui, said that Beijing considers Moscow a trusted partner and is opening its markets more and more to Russian products. The diplomat added that while Beijing was embroiled in an escalating trade war with Washington and was cutting imports from the US, especially on agricultural products, it needed new suppliers, and eyed Russia as a good replacement.

“We will choose a new supplier. And Russia is the most reliable one,” said Zhang.

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