Russian bank looks to expand Belt and Road financing market

VTB Bank, the second-largest bank in Russia, is seeking to strengthen cooperation with Chinese enterprises and expand its business related to the Belt and Road Initiative, said Igor Ostreyko, managing director of trade&export finance at the bank, in an interview with the 21st Century Business Herald.

Trade between Russia and China amounted to US$18.43 billion from January to March in 2017, up 36.8 percent year-on-year. China is Russia’s second-largest export market and largest source of imports. 

Ostreyko said the financing demand of clients who have business connections with Asian enterprises is rapidly growing, especially those with Chinese agencies.

With the rise of energy resource prices, the bilateral trade between China and Russia will continue to increase this year.

Leaders of the two nations have set a goal of boosting the volume of bilateral trade to US$200 billion by 2020. The figure was US$69.53 billion last year. To reach the new target, the countries plan to step up their cooperation in aerospace and aviation, oil, natural gas, high-speed railway and cross-border bridges.

Ostreyko said VTB Bank is making efforts to expand commercial business cooperation opportunities with Chinese banks and enterprises, especially on Belt and Road projects, and is now exploring suitable avenues for such cooperation.

VTB Bank established a branch in Shanghai in 2008, the only bank from the Commonwealth of the Independent States to do so in China.

Editor: zhangjunmian