What to expect from the upcoming China-Russia Expo

A poster of the eighth China-Russia Expo in Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, May 8, 2024. /CFP

A poster of the eighth China-Russia Expo in Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, May 8, 2024. /CFP

The eighth China-Russia Expo is set to take place from May 16 to 21 in Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province.

The event is part of the celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia this year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will also pay a state visit to China from May 16 to 17, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

This will be Putin’s first state visit after he was sworn in as Russian president for a new term.

The upcoming expo will feature a significant lineup of Russian enterprises organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation. Additionally, 16 Russian federal entities will present their businesses at the event, Chinese Commerce Ministry official Liu Xuesong said at a news conference.

The expo will also serve as a platform to highlight Russia’s socioeconomic development, investment opportunities, cooperative projects, quality products and distinctive cultural elements. It aims to foster extensive discussions and negotiations between the two countries in various sectors.

The expo is expected to attract over 5,000 professional buyers from more than 120 delegations representing 44 countries and regions.

Its exhibition area will span 388,000 square meters, showcasing more than 5,000 products in over 20 major categories from 10 sectors.

The host city of the China-Russia Expo alternates between the two countries. Since its inception in 2014, the expo has attracted more than 7,200 Chinese and Russian enterprises, over 1.05 million merchants, facilitating contracts totaling 446.8 billion yuan (about $61.8 billion) in value.

Continued trade growth

In recent years, the trade volume between China and Russia has been expanding. In 2023, bilateral trade between the two countries reached $240.1 billion, achieving an established trade target of $200 billion ahead of schedule.

The first quarter of 2024 saw that positive trend continues, with the bilateral trade reaching $56.68 billion, a year-on-year increase of 5.2 percent, according to data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

Trade between China and Russia continued to expand in 2024, featured by growth in traded products such as energy, automobiles as well as general machinery and equipment, said Lyu Daliang, director of the GAC’s Department of Statistics and Analysis.

In a written interview with Xinhua, Putin noted that the rapid development of Russia-China trade relations has been demonstrating strong immunity to external challenges and crises. 

In the past five years, trade between the two countries has doubled, he noted, saying that China has been Russia’s largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years, and in 2023, Russia ranked the fourth among China’s trading partners. More than 90 percent of transactions between the companies from the two countries are settled in their national currencies, Putin added.