Russian Agriculture’s Counter Back (III)

The area of Russian agricultural crops has expanded extensively in recent years. The government has invested heavily in the improvement of agricultural systems such as agricultural soils and irrigation water, applying more inorganic fertilizers and using modern technologies to enhance soil fertility and increase food production. In 2016, Russia invested 215 billion rubles (about 3.3 billion U.S. dollars) in agriculture. In 2017, on the basis of the national financial support to maintain a scale of more than 220 billion rubles (about 3.4 billion US dollars),steel coil manufacturers it also introduced a mechanism for preferential loans to agricultural enterprises to enhance the attractiveness of agricultural investment. Even in the 2017 fiscal year, known as “the most demanding” in history, Russia’s investment in agriculture has not decreased.

For a long time to come, the main driving force for Russian agricultural development will be the transition from import substitution to export orientation. The saturation of the Russian domestic market contributes to the decline in agricultural prices, and the devaluation of the ruble also gives Russian agricultural products more competitive advantages in the international market.

New opportunities for Sino-Russian cooperation. The ban on the import of Russian agricultural products, which was implemented on August 7, 2014, confirmed that 10 countries including China, Iran, Turkey, etc. have become Russia’s new food suppliers, and Russia will gradually increase food imports from these countries. Make up for the shortcomings in the domestic food market. This has created new opportunities and space for Sino-Russian agricultural cooperation.

After Putin was re-elected as president in 2012, Russia’s “looking east” strategy was accelerated, and agricultural development in the Far East entered a key implementation phase. The investment of Chinese capital in agricultural projects in Russia has become an important link in Sino-Russian agricultural cooperation. In 2015, China’s direct investment in Russian agriculture reached 2.961 billion U.S. dollars, a year-on-year increase of 367%. It has shifted from pure planting and aquaculture to the entire industrial chain of processing, warehousing, logistics and other agricultural production.

China and Russia have strong complementarities in the structure of import and export of agricultural products, and there is broad space for cooperation. With the promotion of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, especially the signing of the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “Eurasian Economic Union” docking agreement between China and Russia in 2015, the two countries invested in agricultural products, agricultural industry, and agricultural technology. Cooperation in communication and other aspects has been further developed.

On November 7, 2018, the “Sino-Russian Cooperation and Development Plan for the Far East Region of Russia (2018-2024)” was approved, and agriculture became one of the seven priority areas for Sino-Russian economic and trade cooperation in the Russian Far East. What can be expected is that under the framework of the Sino-Russian Local Cooperation and Exchange Year and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia, the future Sino-Russian agricultural cooperation will bear fruit.

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