Heilongjiang Province plans to double its imports and exports
with Russia in 2007 from the 2004 level in a bid to boost its trade
and economic relations with the country.
In order to achieve this goal, the provincial government is
targeting industries including energy, agriculture and
Heilongjiang is expected to set up a long-term cooperation with
Russia for the exploration of forest resources in a bid to realize
the industrialization of wood, paper and paper pulp processing in
China and Russia.
The province has also encouraged its enterprises to further
their cooperation with Russia in the exploration of copper, iron,
gold, coal, aluminium and rare metals. It hoped to take part in the
discovering and utilization of crude oil and natural resources in
Russia's Far East regions.
Heilongjiang is poised to accelerate reforms of Russia-oriented
export bases as China's central government vows to upgrade old
industrial bases in the province.
So far, the 13 cities in Heilongjiang have 96 Russia-oriented
export bases. Half of them focus on processing exports toward
Russia while the other half mainly export agricultural
The province will attach high importance to sectors such as
textiles, construction materials, household electrical appliances
and the information technology industry.
Agricultural bases involved in the production of corn,
vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs and milk are expected to expand the
influence of Heilongjiang brands. The government will give them
full policy support and guidance.
In order to push science and technology cooperation with Russia,
the provincial government will oversee more than 100 projects of
this kind and help 10 percent of them to realize
Strengthening cooperation in key and core technologies with
Russia, Heilongjiang is expected to import technologies and skills
Ye Xiaofeng, director of the province's department of commerce,
said that strategic upgrading of economic and trade cooperation
with Russia is one of the province's tasks to boost its foreign
trade this year.
During this year's "Year of Russia in China," governors and
mayors will meet for a week, and other activities such as the
Sino-Russian High-tech Forum and Sino-Russian Enterprise Project
Talks in Heilongjiang will be held.
To boost trade with Russia, Heilongjiang will optimize the
infrastructure of its ports such as Suifenhe, Heihe, Dongning and
Tongjiang. It will also focus on the investment and construction of
medium- and small-sized ports.
Heilongjiang, which shares a 3,000-kilometre-long border with
Russia, has a massive advantage in imports and exports with the
There are 25 national ports along the border of Heilongjiang
Province, which offers a convenient gateway to Russia and other
Eastern European countries.
More importantly, the province also has some favorable policies
for trade with Russia.
For example, banks from China and Russia have launched pilots
for foreign trade settlement. Payment for exports to Russia can
arrive at domestic ports in just one day.
Heilongjiang realized accumulated imports and exports of
US$27.78 billion with Russia from 1990 to 2005. In 2005, trade
volume between Heilongjiang and Russia reached US$5.68 billion, up
nearly 50 percent from a year ago. The figure accounted for around
one-fifth of China's total trade with its neighbouring country.
This year is also expected to see significant jumps in
Heilongjiang's trade exchanges with Russia. Trade volume hit US$4.8
billion in the first nine months of the year.
Now, Heilongjiang mainly exports light industrial and
agricultural products and machinery to Russia and imports primary
products, like energy and raw materials, from Russia.
Small- and medium-sized privately owned enterprises are now the
top exporters and importers with Russia.
In recent years, cooperation between Heilongjiang and Russia has
been broadened from agriculture, construction and wood processing
to joint investment and technology imports.
In the first three quarters this year, turnover from economic
and technology cooperation deals between the province and Russia
hit US$150 million, up 57 percent from a year ago; Heilongjiang
businesspeople established 31 enterprises in Russia in this period,
with investment totalling US$500 million, 260 percent higher
Heilongjiang has primarily formed a science and technology
cooperation regime with Russia, including the Sino-Russian
Friendship Science and Technology Park and International Science
City in Harbin, the capital city of Heilongjiang Province. There
are also Sino-Russia cooperation centres for science and technology
cooperation, agricultural technology and industrial technology.
(China Daily November 6, 2006)