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China, Russia to scale up investment cooperation

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-06-21 19:44

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - Investment cooperation between China and Russia will see further expansion, economists said Friday.

"Russia is preparing for numerous projects, of which we see a considerable sum promising," Hu Bing, president of the Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF), told Xinhua on the sidelines of the 17th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund and China Investment Corporation established the $2 billion RCIF when President Vladimir Putin visited China last June. Another 1 billion to 2 billion dollars will come from third parties.

Hu said the fund had invested about 170 million dollars into a forestry project in Russia's Far East and was mulling more investment.

"Direct trade is not enough to level up the China-Russia relations," he said, "Investments, instead, will strengthen the ties in longer term."

Damian Chunilal, CEO Asia for Russia's VTB Capital, told Xinhua that Asia, especially China, has seen tremendous growth opportunities.

"As trade grows, we do expect FDI (foreign direct investment) to grow as well," Chunilal said, "China is our priority."

The models for investment cooperation could be flexible. "It might be joint ventures, it might be direct investments or taking share holdings," he said.

Currently, more than 30 Chinese companies longing to set foot in Russia have been in touch with VTB Capital, Chunilal said.

Meanwhile, sluggish global economic growth has been challenging investment flows. "But we have to focus on longer term fundamentals and opportunities. Short-term growth should not impact that so much," he added.

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