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Russia sees China as important trade partner
Updated: 2004-09-26 10:40

Russian leaders firmly recognize China as Russia's important strategic trade partner and see great potential in bilateral trade and economic cooperation, said Igor Rogachev, Russian ambassador to China in a recent interview with Global Times.

It is the common mission of the two sides to exploit this potential, thus promoting the strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Russia, noted Mr. Rogachev.

However, Russia is only China's eighth largest trade partner among China's neighboring countries. And although the trade volume between China and Russia doubed in the past three years, mentioned Mr. Rogachev, it was mainly boosted by trade on oil and other raw materials.

Mr. Rogachev is very concerned about the reliance of his country's exports on energy. He stressed that the bilateral trade cooperation in which Russia offers raw materials and roughly processed products in exchange for daily necessities from China must be improved. He asserted trade structure should be adjusted to build a new trade mechanism.

He told the reporter that Russian companies were most interested in providing 600 to 800 megawatt power generators for China's hydro-power stations and power plants, as well as oil transmission units and equipment for thermal power plants and nuclear power plants.

He is also confident about the market prospect of Russia's natural gas equipment, mining equipment and autos in China. He said his country can also provide helicopters, planes for water and land use, and air control systems in civil aviation sector. Besides that, it is possible, he thinks, for China and Russia to jointly make all these products.

Mr. Rogachev sees the significance of having a sound, stable and agreed system regulating the bilateral goods and service trade. Given this, he expected the two sides to continue efforts on carrying out the commitment on improving pre-warning and consultation system made by the commerce departments of China and Russia in September last year.

As to the problems in the "non-organizational trade", as Mr. Rogachev called it, he released that a Sino-Russian joint work group would be responsible for handling affairs related to the non-organizational trade.

In response to the concern about the investment environment in Russia, Mr. Gachev advised Chinese investors to pay personal visits to his country to see what progress has been made by Russia on improving the conditions.

He warmly welcomed Chinese investment in various sectors in Russia, especially industrial processing. He was very glad to see the highest enthusiasm in Russia venture from big Chinese enterprises in China's southeastern coastal areas.

Mr. Rogachev also recalled the first China-Russia Conference for Investment Promotion held in June in Khabarovsk where contracts worth more than 1 billion USD were signed. The desire of cooperation showed by businesses from both sides was very impressive and Russia thought it great to have the event every year, he said.

Mr. Rogachev confirmed that Russia, as a tourism destination of China, is looking forward to having Chinese travelers. He hoped that all the necessary arrangements delayed by institutional restructuring in his country be finally completed by the end of this year so that Chinese tourists groups can set out to Russia. As far as he knows, there are a large number of Chinese people who are interested in such a trip.

And he believes that visits between the people of the two countries help them have further mutual understanding and communication. And without this, he affirmed, the strategic cooperative partnership between China and Russia would be incomplete.

While recognizing the European part of Russia is more developed than its Asian part, Mr. Rogachev also highlighted the potential of Siberia and the Far East in timber, paper making, agricultural products processing and power. He especially mentioned the technological resources in these areas for cooperation.

He also spoke of the ports along Russia's border which offered convenience for Chinese exports selling to Asian-Pacific region.

Mr. Rogachev saw a bright future for the Far East railway. Trains for oil transportation will run on it and stations by ports will be built. He also released Russia's plan to open 3 more lines equipped with new technologies and new equipment. The upgraded railway will convey 12 million tons of goods out of Russia a year.

Mr. Rogachev then expected the railway linking the boarders would transport 7 million tons to China and Russia, 1.5 million tons more than last year.

At the end of the interview, he promised to facilitate the oil transmission to China through the railway along the borderline between the two countries.

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