Bilateral trade between Russia and China could reach a new high of more than US$11 billion this year, visiting Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Wednesday.
"Russia is now China's eighth largest trade partner and China is Russia's sixth largest trade partner,'' Kasyanov said.
Trade between the two countries has enjoyed fast development in recent years. The trade volume reached a record US$10.7 billion last year, and the figure amounted to US$6.2 billion in the first seven months this year, up 20 percent from the same period last year.
"Russian investment in China has topped US$300 million.''
Kasyanov made the remarks at a luncheon hosted by Chinese business people and entrepreneurs, telling them such momentum "can be maintained.''
The PM arrived in Shanghai Wednesday for an official visit and convocation of the seventh regular meetings between the Chinese premier and Russian prime minister.
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji held a welcoming ceremony in Shanghai Wednesday for Kasyanov. They are scheduled to have a formal meeting Thursday.
At the luncheon, Kasyanov urged the two sides to invest more in their respective countries to make investment the new powerhouse for bilateral trade, saying this trade merited rapid growth in recent years.
He attributed this growth to the policy adopted by the Russian and Chinese governments of fully promoting the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership of cooperation and the efforts made by business circles of the two countries.
Briefing Chinese business people and entrepreneurs on the development of major bilateral cooperation projects in energy, nuclear energy and civil airplane manufacturing, Kasyanov said both nations should explore new areas for cooperation, increase mutual investment and develop potential in economic and trade.
Kasyanov said he hoped the two sides expand cooperation in infrastructure, mining, forestry, agriculture, telecommunication, home appliance production and other fields.
He also encouraged Chinese enterprises to pay more attention to the Russian market, polish the image of China-made products and provide more quality Chinese commodities to Russian consumers.
Kasyanov will also meet with Chinese President Jiang Zemin during his 3-day stay in China.
(China Daily August 22, 2002)