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MOSCOW - Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Russia will bring the financial cooperation between the two countries to a new high, a Russian banker says.
Financial cooperation constituted a crucial part of the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, Alexander Ivanov, deputy head of the Vnesheconombank (VEB), told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"The VEB, together with its Chinese partners, is ready to consider joint projects on infrastructure development. It is necessary to define strategic goals of inter-bank partnerships for the upcoming years based on current needs and market environment," Ivanov said.
He said VEB, or Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs, had long cooperated with Chinese financial institutions under bilateral and multilateral frameworks such as the BRICS bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
"We hold forums, conduct cross-training of personnel and work within BRICS' or SCO's inter-bank union," Ivanov said.
The VEB and China Development Bank (CDB) and the Export-Import Bank of China signed agreements on financing projects totaling more than 2.3 billion U.S. dollars, the banker said.
Last June, Chinese Investment Corporation and Russian Direct Investment Fund established a $4-billion Russia-China Investment Fund.
"This fund invests in infrastructural projects and contributes a lot to job creation both in Russia and China," he said.
Russia was ready to further economic ties between the two biggest neighbors. "We expect the mutually beneficial long-term cooperation with Chinese counterparts in the financial industry will be confirmed during President Xi's visit," Ivanov said.
Speaking of the upcoming BRICS summit in South Africa's Durban on March 26-27, Ivanov said China's participation was "mutually beneficial and thus deserves wide recognition."
VEB and partner CDB actively participated within the BRICS interbank cooperation mechanism, created in 2010 with the aim of fostering long-term cooperation between member countries, improving trade and economic contacts and implementing socially important projects, he said.
Meanwhile, five major development banks from the BRICS countries were also discussing mutual financing in national currencies, which would contribute to the creation of a new global financial mechanism, Ivanov said.
He said the BRICS Development Bank, likely to be established at the summit, would be an important tool to serve the flow of finance and goods between the BRICS countries.
"We believe the bank will be viable, because one of its aims is to ease accounting operations in national currencies instead of operations in the US dollar and the euro," Ivanov said.
He said BRICS could help create "a powerful union of new global financial systems with Russia and China being an irreplaceable part of it."