Russia's WTO entry benefits Russia-China trade

Updated: 2011-12-28 11:05


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MOSCOW - Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) will serve as a considerable spur to China-Russia cooperation in trade and investment, a Chinese diplomat said.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, Ling Ji, minister counselor for economic and commercial affairs at the Chinese embassy to Russia, said Russia's accession into the WTO will create new opportunities for both China and Russia.

"On one hand, Russia opens its market; on the other hand, Russia enjoys more rights to access other markets," Ling said.

After 18 years of negotiation, the world's biggest economy outside the WTO and the only G20 member left out finally joined the trade bloc on Dec16.

After its accession, Russia's customs tariffs will be lowered to 7.8 percent from 10 percent, Ling said.

The country will also cut down import duties on one-third of its imports, making it easier for Chinese industrial and agricultural products to access the Russian market, Ling said.

The diplomat noted that future expansion of bilateral trade fueled by lower tariffs is only one aspect of the benefits of Russia's WTO accession, as Russia will also improve its trade and investment climate.

"The improvement will absolutely boost bilateral investment and technical cooperation between China and Russia," Ling said.
"We should pay more attention to the improvement of Russia's market access and its investment climate. Increasing transparency in many industrial sectors will help foreign investors seek more opportunities and receive equal treatment," Ling said.

On services market, the diplomat said that Russia has promised to open many sectors such as the financial industry, tourism and transportation, which will facilitate mutual investment in these areas between China and Russia.

After Russia formally joins the trade bloc, it will also make stricter commitment to intellectual property protection, which will be an advantage for China-Russia technical cooperation, Ling said.

As to Russia's access to the global market, Ling noted that Russian products will get more opportunities to access the Chinese market.

"Besides energy products, Russia could also supply China with steel, chemical products, electronics and other goods," the diplomat said.

"In addition, more Russian capital will flow into China's industries," he said.

Meanwhile, Ling warned Chinese companies of greater competition pressure in Russia's more open market after its accession into the WTO.

Chinese companies could face difficulties as Russia may adopt anti-dumping measures on light industry, aviation, agriculture and other sectors as its market opens up.

"Nevertheless, the Russian market will eventually become more transparent and the country's investment climate will improve.

That's good news for Chinese companies that want to develop in Russia," Ling said.