MOSCOW (Sputnik) — China-Russia trade volume fell 29.3 percent year on year in the first 11 months of 2015 to $61.3 billion, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, which attributes the decline to external factors, "including sluggish global demand and weak commodity prices, particularly crude oil."
"I believe the decline in bilateral trade is temporary…as China and Russia possess large economies and high degree of complimentarity in their industries, as well as large markets, and, most importantly, a strong desire for bilateral cooperation supplemented by a well-tuned cooperation mechanism," Hui said.
Russia, China Should Diversify Bilateral Trade Ties Through AIIB, BRICS Banks
Russia and China should step up cooperation within the existing economic and banking projects to increase bilateral trade, Li Hui added.
"The structure of bilateral trade is not diverse enough," Li said. "I’m positive that mutual efforts will give a new boost to bilateral trade between Russia and China."
The diplomat cited several venues of economic cooperation that could re-energize trade between the two neighbor nations after a dip in 2015.
Among many options on the table are the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the BRICS emerging economies’ New Development Bank (NDB), the Silk Road infrastructure fund, and the China-Russia Expo.
Russia and China are founding members of both the AIIB and the NDB banks, seen by some experts as an alternative to Western global financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
China is Russia's leading economic partner. In 2014, bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to $95 billion. Both sides expressed their intention to increase bilateral trade to $100 billion in 2015.
In August 2015, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said the bilateral trade could top $100 billion in 2016. In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow and Beijing were planning to boost their bilateral trade to $200 billion "in the next few years."