China-Russia trade to top $40b

By Dong Bei (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-06-18 08:39

The 18th China Harbin Fair for Trade and Economic Cooperation attracts a great number of Russian businesspeople. [newsphoto]

China-Russia trade volume is expected to exceed $40 billion this year, State councilor Tang Jiaxuan said over the weekend.

Addressing the 18th China Harbin Fair for Trade and Economic Cooperation, Tang said the good political relationship between the two countries will spur economic and trade exchanges to a new high this year.

Trade between the two countries developed briskly during the past decade, with volumes soaring from $6.83 billion in 1996 to $33.4 billion in 2006.

And the figure for the first four months this year has already reached $12.5 billion, Tang noted.

"It is estimated that it will exceed $40 billion this year," he told about 300 representatives from both countries at the opening ceremony of the fair's "Russian Business Day".

China is currently Russia's fourth largest trade partner while Russia is China's eighth largest.

China's direct investment in Russia has reached $940 million while Russia's direct investment in the country totals $610 million, Tang added.

He said that the two countries have launched a series of cooperation programs in the fields of energy, aviation and construction. China and Russia have set a strategic goal of realizing bilateral trade volume of $60-80 billion by 2010.

Heilongjiang's traditional handicrafts, made of fish skin, are on display at the Harbin Fair. [newsphoto]

Tang said that opportunities abound as both countries are developing very fast due to a string of effective revitalization plans.

"Russia is mapping out a plan for the development of its Far East region, and China is actively pushing forward the revitalization of its northeast," he said.

He also said the two countries should work harder to restructure trade to upgrade economic and technological cooperation.

Light industry products like textiles, clothes, shoes and home appliances account for the majority of China's exports to Russia, while Russia's exports to China mainly focus on raw materials such as crude oil, logs and steel.

Tang said that both countries should strengthen cooperation in the hi-tech field by importing more electronic products.

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