BRI Projects: China builds landmark projects in Russia
Updated 23:05, 18-Apr-2019
Aljosa Milenkovic

China-Russia economic collaboration hit new highs by the end of 2018, when mutual trade levels exceeded 100 billion U.S. dollars.

Partly due to Western sanctions and partly due to a strategic decision to develop its Far East, Russia has taken a greater interest in joint business projects. It also has opened the door to more Chinese direct investment. One example of this can be seen at the Greenwood Business Park, located on the outskirts of Moscow. 

We were there on a busy and very important day for Greenwood and all the Chinese and Russian business people working in both countries. It was the day when the agreement for the establishment of a joint center for protecting the rights of Chinese and Russian entrepreneurs was signed.

The center is an important regulatory body for any eventualities that might arise when doing business. After this, it will be much easier for everybody here to work in a predictable and protected environment. 

That's also something that the most prosperous and developed part of Russia – the Moscow Region – has been seeking for a long time. Their end goal is to attract as much Chinese business as possible. After the signing, we met Vadim Hromov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Moscow Region. He shared with us his expectations for further expansion of Chinese businesses here.

Vadim Hromov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Moscow Region. /CGTN Photo

Vadim Hromov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Moscow Region. /CGTN Photo

"In the Moscow Region, Chinese companies are only at the eighth-highest level for foreign investments. They are not leaders in that area, but in the last several years they've started several massive projects, like the second phase of Greenwood, creating a joint construction company, and now they are finishing a major transportation project, a train container terminal, which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative," Hromov said.

A step in the right direction

Greenwood Business Park started operations in 2010. Since then, it has grown to host over 300 companies from around the world. It has its own heliport, four-star hotel and some of the companies have permanent product exhibitions right here. 

This is a business model that works well for both Chinese businesses and their Russian counterparts. And it works so well that both sides now are considering further expanding the second phase of this project. And it is that second phase of Greenwood that represents the future of this project, which is arguably the largest Chinese direct investment in the Moscow Region. 

Greenwood II started in November 2017. Its goal is to continue promoting the Belt and Road Initiative in Russia and to help the two countries reach 200 billion U.S. dollars in trade.

Zhou Liqun, president of Greenwood Business Park /CGTN Photo

Zhou Liqun, president of Greenwood Business Park /CGTN Photo

That was confirmed to us by Zhou Liqun, president of the Greenwood Business Park. "Now, there are over 170 Chinese companies in the park, such as Haier and Huawei. There will be more companies participating in the future Greenwood development, namely in the construction of Greenwood II. Greenwood II is highly complementary to Greenwood I. What's more, there will be more exhibition space and e-commerce enterprises in the park, which will further boost China-Russia cooperation," he said.

Russia is widely regarded by China as one of the most important countries in the Belt and Road Initiative. That places special importance on projects like Greenwood.