China firms to invest US$1b in Russia

By Diao Ying (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-11-10 06:40

Chinese and Russian enterprises have reached agreements on 10 projects involving a total investment by the Chinese side into Russia of US$1 billion.

The agreements were signed at Sino-Russian Investment Promotion Week and the third China-Russia Conference on Investment Promotion held in Beijing Thursday.

The event is organized by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Russia's Economic Development and Trade Ministry.

China and Russia also signed an investment protection agreement during the 11th regular China-Russia Prime Ministers' Meeting between Premier Wen Jiabao and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.

"The investment protection agreement will provide a solid legal foundation for investment co-operation between the two countries," said Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice-minister of the NDRC.

"The Chinese Government encourages Chinese enterprises to invest in Russia under international rules, and we also welcome Russian companies to come to China and develop the new market here, " said Vice-Premier Wu Yi at the meeting.

Wu also called for government bodies from both sides to ensure a fair and open environment for business. "We will further optimize the environment to search for reciprocity and equal co-operation," said Wu.

"Economic and trade co-operation is key for the development of bilateral relations," said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov, adding "both sides are interested in participating in the economic development of the other country. "

According to the trade targets set earlier by authorities from the two sides, bilateral trade turnover will reach US$60-80 billion by 2010, and China will invest US$12 billion in Russia by 2020.

"Considering the current development, it is very possible that the goal of US$12 billion investment from China to Russia will be realized 10 years ahead of schedule," Zhang said.

The six key investment fields in yesterday's agreements are forestry, mineral resources and energy, basic infrastructure, automobiles, textiles, and agriculture and fisheries.

"China and Russia have a great demand for each other's markets, technology, resources, talent, and commodities. This ensures a huge potential and very promising future for co-operation between the two sides, " Wu said.

But there still is a lack of communication between enterprises, limiting information flow needed to expand business, noted Zhukov.

The first annual China-Russia Conference on Investment Promotion was first held in Khabarovsk in 2004.

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