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Summit to open new chapter in cooperation with Russia

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-22 08:58

PETROZAVODSK, Russia - The Republic of Karelia in Russia's northwest and Fujian province in East China plan to boost trade during the upcoming BRICS Summit.

"The preparation for the establishment of a friendly and cooperative partnership between the two sides has entered the final stage," said Artur Parfyonchikov, acting head of the Republic of Karelia.

"Hopefully, we will sign the agreement during the BRICS Summit and start to carry out joint projects as soon as possible," he added.

The BRICS Summit in Fujian's resort city of Xiamen will be held early next month. Plans for expanding cooperation between Karelia and Fujian are based on their multiple similarities, Parfyonchikov pointed out.

Economically, both regions boast rich resources in forestry, mining and other fields, and enjoy similar priorities in their respective country's national economic policy.

Joint projects in non-traditional industries, including automation machinery, information technology, culture and education, are also being explored by the two jurisdictions.

In addition, Parfyonchikov underlined why Karelia has a great advantage in attracting foreign investment and tourists.

He highlighted its railway, maritime and other transportation infrastructure, which efficiently connects the region to major cities such as Moscow, St Petersburg and Murmansk, as well as neighboring Finland.

At present, Karelia is in talks with Chinese authorities to develop tourism projects and routes, according to Parfyonchikov.

He also mentioned the 50 megawatt Beloporozhskaya hydropower plants in Karelia launched last year.

They were the first in Russia financed by the BRICS-led New Development Bank, a multilateral development bank headquartered in Shanghai, and set an example for pragmatic cooperation within the BRICS framework.

"Construction of the hydropower plants is of great benefit to the local economy, and helps to boost employment as the workers involved in the construction of the project are mainly from the local community," he said.

Parfyonchikov expressed confidence about the future for BRICS countries, saying the organization was an efficient platform for dialogue and consultation.

"Karelia's hydropower stations project is a manifestation of the outcome of the BRICS Summit," he said.

"I believe the ninth summit will enable us to take a further step ahead and open a new chapter in promoting cooperation among the BRICS countries," he added.

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