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Wen: China, Russia to conclude WTO talks
Updated: 2004-09-22 08:50

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told Russia media prior to his visit that China and Russia will conclude talks on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization during his visit.

Wen left Beijing on Tuesday for Kyrgyzstan and Russia. He told the Interfax News Agency in Beijing on Sept. 12 that he and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov will conclude the talks in Moscow, preparing for the final signature of the agreements.

"China firmly supports Russia's entry to the WTO, and I can clearly assure you that through joint efforts, the talks on bilateral market accession between China and Russia is now at the closing stage," Wen said.

The Chinese premier stressed that China supports Russia's entry,because they are strategic cooperative partners and that Russia's WTO accession will benefit both countries.

"That's why we said earlier that China will become one of the first nations to strike a deal with Russia on its WTO accession," Wen said. "After Russia's entry into the WTO, China-Russia economic and trade relations will gain new strength of growth within the framework of the WTO."

During the past five years, China-Russia trade has been growingat an average of 20 percent annually. Two-way trade reached US$15.7 billion last year, and is expected to top US$20 billion this year, one year ahead of the target set by leaders of the two countries.

Wen predicted that China-Russia trade would reach US$60-80 billion by 2010 at the current growth rate.

The Chinese premier proposed that the two countries expand cooperation not only in commodities trade, but also in service trade, investment, tourism, finance and hi-tech areas.

As to the disputes arising from bilateral trade and economic ties, Wen said the two sides can resolve them through "consultation" and "taking into consideration the interests of the other side."

"I hope we can establish a good trade order and a fine consultation mechanism to keep our trade to grow in a healthy way," he said.

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