KIEV, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- China and Ukraine have great potential for partnership under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a Ukrainian economist said as the two countries marked their 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties this week.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, Olga Drobotyuk, director at the Kiev-based Institute for Contemporary China Studies, stressed the bright prospects for bilateral cooperation "given the complementarities of their economies."
Describing cooperation on "Silk Road e-commerce" as particularly promising, Drobotyuk said that Ukraine possesses intellectual resources and potential for digitalizing the economy, while China has experience in digital transformation, and has actively been developing and investing in information and communications technologies.
The expert is also optimistic about China-Ukraine trade partnership under the BRI.
"The Chinese market is attractive for Ukrainian exporters due to its size and effective demand. The Ukrainian market also attracts Chinese exporters with its size," Drobotyuk said.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Ukraine-China trade increased by 47.5 percent year-on-year to 9.37 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of 2021.
Under the BRI, a direct freight train linking Ukraine with China was launched, which has "a positive impact on the development of trade relations," Drobotyuk said.
She also spoke highly of prospects for bilateral cooperation in infrastructure construction with a slew of contracts having recently been inked.
Since 2016, contractors from China and Ukraine have signed construction contracts under the BRI worth 2.95 billion dollars in such sectors as transport and energy, including alternative energy and gas, the expert said, citing data from the China Global Investment Tracker.
Another key milestone was the signing of an intergovernmental agreement on June 30, 2021, on strengthening cooperation in the construction of infrastructure, including railways, airports, ports and other facilities.
"The Belt and Road Initiative has a large-scale, global nature, in terms of the coverage of countries, the volume of trade, investments, resources," she noted.
Meanwhile, the expert noted that bilateral cooperation under the initiative goes beyond infrastructure and trade. "Cultural, educational and scientific exchanges are of great importance to strengthening cooperation."
There has been a positive trend in "student exchanges and joint research thanks to the efforts of the specialized Sub-Commissions of the China-Ukraine Intergovernmental Commission," she said.
"In the future, we can expect increased cooperation, the development of new directions of cooperation and participation under the BRI," she said. ■