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    Plans to increase trade with Russia
Li Fangchao
2006-03-18 07:05

Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province has mapped out plans to boost its trade with Russia over the next five years.

It is part of a blueprint to upgrade its economic and trade co-operation strategy.

Province leaders said they hoped it would help it to maintain its leading role in business relations between China and Russia.

Wang Limin, vice-governor of Heilongjiang Province, said that full support would be given to upgrade economic and scientific co-operation with Russia this year.

He said he hopes to make breakthroughs with Russia in the fields of energy, raw material, processing of agricultural products as well as border trade. "Both the two sides have a lot in common in these fields," he said.

The province's unique geographical position makes it the spearhead in economic co-operation and trade between the two countries, Wang said.

Sharing a borderline of more than 3,000 kilometres with Russia, Heilongjiang Province boasts the largest trade partner in the country, with its overall trade volume with Russia reaching US$5.6 billion last year, nearly one fifth of the nation's whole.

And that figure is expected to be nearly tripled to US$14 billion by 2010, Wang said at the sidelines of a promotion conference yesterday of the 17th China Harbin International Fair for Trade and Economic Co-operation, which will be held from June 15-19.

The fair, said Wang, is the province's most important initiative in attracting foreign capital to the province.

The Ministry of Commerce, the State Council's Office of the Leading Group for Revitalizing Northeast China, and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, as well as the province, will jointly host the event.

Some international organizations, including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and 12 government departments and trade promotion institutions from seven countries and regions such as Russia, Japan, ROK and Hong Kong will be co-sponsors.

The fair has developed into a major international economic and trade event, Wang said.

"The level and scale of this year's fair is elevated as many activities during the fair have been listed as part of the events planned for the '2006 Russian Year in China'," he said.

Wang revealed that the Federal Government of Russia has given huge attention to the fair and will organize a delegation consisting of enterprises and companies to participate.

"The Harbin trade fair is becoming the biggest and most important event that faces the vast market of Russia and northeast Asia," said Yu Guangzhou, vice-minister of commerce.

"And the fair can serve as a bridge between the business people from China and Russia."

(China Daily 03/18/2006 page2)


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