Belt And Road Weekly Investor Intelligence #125

Posted by Reading Time: 5 minutes

Tuesday, March 21, 2023     

Compiled by Chris Devonshire-Ellis 

The leading event this week is the ongoing Russia-China summit being held in Moscow; we identify the key issues that are on the agenda. We look at how China’s economy fared in the first two months of 2023 and examine China’s bilateral trade with Kazakhstan and Ukraine. In Central Asia, we take deep dives into the economies of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia, and examine in some detail progress being made within the Eurasian Economic Union. In ASEAN, we look at Vietnam’s latest trade data, and at Indonesia’s incentives for foreign investors to help construct its new capital, Nusantara.

In the Middle East, we look at Saudi-Chinese financial cooperation and Syria’s welcoming back into the Arabic fold after years of strife and civil war.  Russian financial brokers meanwhile are opening up services desks in China and India.

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The Putin-Xi Moscow Summit: Issues Being Discussed

The Moscow summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping has begun and is expected to last for three days. Ukraine however will not be the only item on the agenda as Russia and China have much else to discuss in terms of regional security, infrastructure development, energy supplies, trade, and new financial systems technologies. In this article, we discuss these issues.


Breakdown and Analysis of China’s Economic Data for January and February 2023

China’s statistics bureau has released economic data for January and February 2023, providing the first signs that the country’s industries and markets are beginning to recover after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. They also unveil persistent long-term challenges to China’s economic development. We discuss what these mean for China’s post-COVID recovery.

China, Kazakhstan Bilateral Trade Up 34% In Twelve Months

The Kazakh spring, known as Nauryz, began in Almaty with meetings between Alikhan Smailov, the Kazakh Prime Minister, and Zhang Xiao, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to Kazakhstan. These high level meetings set out new 2023 trade and sectoral developments and instigate bilateral trade targets of US$35 billion by 2030.

China Retains Position As Ukraine’s Top Trade & Potential Investment Partner

China has retained its status as Ukraine’s top foreign trade partner in January-February, with combined bilateral trade of US$2.3 billion, or averaging just over US$1 billion a month. China is followed by Poland at US$1.95 billion with the remaining significant players being Turkiye and Romania. We also examine Chinese investment into Ukraine as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.


Indonesia Issues Incentives for Nusantara Capital City Project

Indonesia’s government has issued regulations that offer various fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to businesses seeking to invest in its new capital city, Nusantara. The incentives include corporate income tax exemptions, tax holidays, and personal income tax exemptions for investments in priority projects in the new capital, such as ports, airports, renewable energy systems, and healthcare services.

Vietnam’s Import-Export Turnover Tops US$49.3 Billion in February

Vietnam’s two-way trade in February was up almost US$3 billion over January despite February being a slightly shorter month. All-in-all Vietnam clocked up over US$46 billion in two-way trade for the month with foreign direct invested enterprises accounting for a little over two-thirds. What did Vietnam export and to where, and what did it import and from where?


Current Trends and Opportunities in Mongolia: Mining Sector and Vision 2050

Mongolia’s economy is heavily reliant on its mining sector, which contributes significantly to its GDP and exports. However, the government is actively working towards diversifying the economy and attracting foreign investment in other sectors. As a result, there are several promising industries and major trends that businesses and investors can explore. We provide insights.

Uzbekistan’s Opportunities and Challenges from China’s Belt & Road Initiative

From China’s perspective, Uzbekistan is a considerable power in the heart of Central Asia with an increasingly strong role. The annual business volume is moving towards the goal of US$10 billion dollars.  More attention has been paid to the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan road corridor and the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway as key BRI connectivity projects involving the country.

Kyrgyzstan’s Opportunities and Challenges from China’s Belt & Road Initiative

China is seeking to expand its transportation and logistics infrastructure, trade links, prosperity, new opportunity for stability and growth, investment, technology and new markets, exports, industries, industrial promotion, green and digital economy, reducing electricity shortage, and increasing exchanges in Central Asia. We look at what this means for Kyrgyzstan.

China & Vietnam Take Part Of Russia’s Market Share In Kazakhstan Household Appliance Exports

Imports of household appliances to Kazakhstan from Russia decreased in 2022, while those from China grew, affected since the Russian conflict with Ukraine began and sanctions were imposed. As a result, established logistics routes were disrupted, affecting the supply of goods. That means opportunities for Asian exporters to look to Central Asia for new markets as Russian exports have decreased.


The Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreements: Latest Progress

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs has been privy to updates on the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) push towards internationalization and the opening of new markets. Discussions and negotiations are taking place concerning EAEU free trade agreements with Egypt, Iran, UAE, Indonesia, and China. We discuss the details.

Russia Rethinks The Eurasian Economic Union

Overall, the EAEU comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia and fills the northern geographic landmass between East Europe (Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland) and Western China. Russia is eying Vietnam, India and Indonesia as Asian regional hubs For EAEU multilateral trade as the bloc gains new trade significance in Moscow.

EAEU Sovereign Currency Usage To Increase To 80-85% Of Total Trade

The share of national currency usage in trade of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries is poised to grow to 80-85% from 75%, according to Dmitry Volvach, the Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Russia has said. The EAEU is a regional bloc that includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. It occupies a geographic space between Eastern Europe and Western China.


UAE Welcomes Syria ‘Back Into The Arabic Community”

The UAE’s King Sheikh Mohamed and Syrian President Bashar Al Assad discussed the fraternal relations between the two countries and ways to strengthen cooperation and constructive joint work which would contribute to achieving their mutual interests. The Sheikh emphasized his confidence in Syria’s ability and the determination of its people to overcome this ordeal and move Syria to a new era.

Saudi National Bank Partners With China Exim Bank In RMB Yuan Loans

The Export-Import Bank of China (China EximBank), its major trade policy bank, has announced that it had made its first loan cooperation with the Saudi National Bank, the largest bank in Saudi Arabia, in RMB Yuan. The funds will be preferentially used to meet the demand for China-Saudi Arabia trade projects and are part of the China-Saudi Strategic Cooperation Agreement signed last year.


Russian Financial Management Firms Enter China and India Markets

Russian financial services companies and professionals are gradually entering the financial services markets in Asia. At the beginning of March, Ingosstrakh-Investments Management Company received a license from China’s financial services regulator for operations with financial instruments on the Chinese stock exchanges. Alfa Capital has received a similar license in India.

About Us

Dezan Shira & Associates provide business intelligence, market research, legal, tax and compliance issues for foreign investors throughout Asia, and have 28 offices across the region. We are members of the Leading Edge Alliance, a network of related firms with offices throughout the world. For assistance with Belt & Road Initiative research, please contact us at or visit us at To subscribe to our Belt & Road Initiative portal, please click here.