The volume of trade between Russia and China is growing and has already reached $61.6 billion in the first nine months of 2017, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Growth is visible and sound. I am confident we will reach $66 billion this year and will continue increasing the turnover,” Putin said at a meeting with China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

According to the Russian President, Moscow and Beijing established strong links “which fully corresponds to the level of our strategic partnership.”

The two countries have set a goal to boost trade to $80 billion by 2018 and $200 billion by 2020. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said preferential trade rules are being considered, which would increase the use of national currencies in settlements.

In 2014, the Russian and Chinese central banks signed a three-year ruble-yuan currency swap deal worth up to $25 billion, aimed at boosting trade and lessen dependence on the US dollar and euro.

Russia’s largest lender, Sberbank became the first bank in the country to start issuing credit guarantees denominated in Chinese yuan. Moscow and Beijing plan to extend the swap deal and are looking to increase the use of domestic currencies in trade.

In May, the countries established a Russian-Chinese investment fund worth 68 billion yuan (over $10 billion) to develop trade, economic investment, and scientific cooperation.

Original Article