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Logistics in Russia and Asia-Pacific Interconnect under China’s Belt and Road Initiative
6 September 2017

China is moving its Belt and Road initiative from a framework discussion phase to tangible projects, establishing the preconditions for the development of routes across Russia with the active involvement of major players in the Russian transport industry. Sino-Russian cooperation in this area is supported by the two countries’ heads of state, who signed a joint declaration on cooperation to connect the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt. Freight owners in Asia-Pacific countries currently spend up to USD 1 billion per year on transporting freight by sea (bypassing Russia). If Russian and Chinese transport companies begin offering cheaper and more convenient services, up to 30% of freight could be transported by land across China and Russia rather than by sea. How should Russia make the most of the opportunities presented by China’s Belt and Road initiative? What action is already being taken by market players to develop the country’s transit potential, such as overland routes along the Trans-Siberian Railway? What limiting factors are currently preventing freight traffic in Asia-Pacific countries, like China, from being connected to Russian transit routes? What steps need to be taken by the Chinese and Russian governments in the near future to create conditions that will foster increased cooperation in this area?

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