By Dezan Shira & Associates
Cross-border trade at Manzhouli, the Chinese city right at the borders of Russia and Mongolia, has exceeded RMB 200 million (US$30.5 million) this year, including about 45,000 tonnes of cargo. This brings the total turnover of its border trade zone to RMB 300 million since it started trial operation in June 2016.
Manzhouli, which is part of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, also issued about 28,000 border resident identity cards and 113,000 visitor cards in 2017, according to officials within the zone’s administration committee. Most of those visitors were Russian traders, both buying and selling goods.
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At the border trade zone, each Chinese national possessing a border residence card is allowed to purchase duty-free goods worth up to RMB 8,000 (US$1,220) each day. More than 1,000 varieties of Russian goods are on sale at the border trade zone, and Russian residents also enjoy lower prices when purchasing Chinese goods there.
Manzhouli is China’s largest land port, and connects Beijing directly with Moscow as a stop of the trans-Siberian rail route. It is also the home of the world’s only timber exchange, with Russian lumber being processed at many of Manzhouli’s timber factories, many of them foreign owned. The exchange provides spot prices for Russian timber.
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