Chinese and Russian officials and entrepreneurs asked the two countries' enterprises to enhance cooperation and continuously promote bilateral trade.
They made the appeal at the first meeting of the Sino-Russian entrepreneurs' council in Beijing on Friday, which was founded Thursday in Beijing, with Chinese President Hu Jintao and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin as witness.
Involving 35 Russian and 32 Chinese enterprises, the council will offer consulting services to both countries' businesses, said Wan Jifei, chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and chairman of the group on enterprises and industrial cooperation of the Sino-Russian Committee for Friendship, Peace and Development.
The council will encourage its members to settle trade disputes through friendly consultation, mediation and arbitration, provide advice on economic cooperation to the two governments and support the members to participate in the fairs, exhibitions and symposiums held by each other, according to Wan.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov told the conference that Russia-China trade kept growing rapidly and the cooperation agreements signed during President Putin's current visit to China have formulated the direction of bilateral economic and trade development and will further promote such development.
There still exist great potentials for bilateral trade volume and the level of other cooperation, Wan said. The establishment of the council will provide a new platform in this regard.
According to official Chinese statistics, trade volume between China and Russia reached nearly US$15.8 billion in 2003, up 32 percent over the same period of 2002. The amount of this year is expected to reach US$20 billion.
(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2004)