China's northernmost Heilongjiang Province expects to expand exports to Russia in 2005 by setting up several export processing bases, said the provincial department of commerce.
Most of these new production bases will be related to the industries of textile, building and decorative materials and agriculture, which are largely demanded in Russia, said the department.
In addition, the provincial government also encourages Chinese enterprises to participate in the operation of major Russia-based energy sources projects by purchasing or renting shares, said the department.
Heilongjiang and Russia has a boundary of over 3,000 kilometers long. The Siberia and Far East regions of Russia have rich forest and mineral resources. With the economic growth of Russia, its market demand for food, garments, shoes, and machinery also have increased sharply in recent years.
In 2004, a total of 59 economic cooperative projects were signed between Heilongjiang and Russia, with the total contract value hitting US$150 million, a year-on-year surge of 60.3 percent.
The province also invested about US$16.13 million on 15 overseas business projects in Russia last year, said the provincial department of commerce.
Currently, the Heilongjiang Province is working on 50 overseas projects with Russia, involving a total investment of US$5 billion. The commerce department said these projects have attracted many Chinese enterprises from other provinces which also hope to enter the Russian market.
The Sino-Russian trade has realized rapid growth in recent years. Customs statistics show that the bilateral trade between China and Russia topped US$21.2 billion in 2004, a year-on-year growth of 34.7 percent.
According to a target set by the both state leaders, the Sino-Russian trade value is expected to exceed US$60 billion in 2010. And their bilateral cooperation will also be strengthened in other industries like aviation, spaceflight, biologic engineering, chemical industry, and forestry.
(Xinhua News Agency March 13, 2005)