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Summit promises new chapter in cooperation with Russia

China Daily Europe | Updated: 2017-08-27 14:56

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.

"Preparation for the establishment of a friendly and cooperative partnership between the two sides has entered the final stage," says 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 adds.

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 says.

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

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

In addition, Parfyonchikov underlines why Karelia has an advantage in attracting foreign investment and tourists. He highlights its railway, maritime and other transportation infrastructure, which efficiently connects the region to major cities such as Moscow, St. Petersburg and Murmansk, and neighboring Finland.

At present, Karelia is in talks with Chinese authorities on developing tourism projects and routes, Parfyonchikov says. He adds that the 50 megawatt Beloporozhskaya hydropower plants in Karelia was 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 says.

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

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


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