Primorye Residents Travel Less to China
Chinese officials see the global financial crisis as a main reason behind the fall in the trade volume.
VLADIVOSTOK. February 24. VOSTOK-MEDIA – The report on the financial outcome for 2009 issued by officials in Heilongjiang, a Chinese province bordering Primorsky Krai, showed the 38% fall in the volume of trade at Suifenhe checkpoint.
The decline in trade turnover has been caused by the global financial crisis. However, experts say the fall might have been triggered by the considerable decline in the number of Russian tourists, who are the main visitors to Suifenhe, Xinhua news agency reports.
The fight against the so-called “pomogaiki” (“helpers”, who work as a hired shuttle traders for a Russian import company), which has been a priority task for Russian Customs Service in 2009, has contributed significantly to the fall in the trade turnover. Konstantin Chaika, Deputy Head of Federal Customs Service, said the number of pomogaiki in 2009 totaled 3 millions, down from 5.5 millions in 2008.
According to official data, 2009 marked the first time that the number of Primorsky Krai tourists travelling to China stopped growing. Natalya Rondaleva, a spokesman for Primorsky Krai Border Service, said last year 1.5 million tourists crossed Primorsky Krai-China checkpoints, which is 51% less than in 2008. As a result the volume of the foreign trade through Suifenhe checkpoint totaled $1.52 bln in 2009, which is 38.2% less than in 2008.
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