Sunday marked a profitable day for Chinese and Russian companies as a series of contracts were finalized on the sidelines of a major international economic forum, with deals inked from agriculture to car-manufacturing. A total of 19 contracts, with a total value of around US$2 billion, were signed.
The signing ceremony was attended by dignitaries from both countries with Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi and her Russian counterpart Alexander Zhukov in attendance.
"The soaring Chinese and Russian economies make us both attractive markets and investment destinations and have forged a solid economic foundation for bilateral cooperation," Wu told a round-table meeting on China-Russia trade and economic ties.
Wu is currently leading the Chinese delegation at the 11th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The two countries' economic ties are crucial given Russia's place as China's eighth-largest trading partner, with China being Russia's fourth-largest. Bilateral trade has been soaring of late, hitting US$33.4 billion in 2006, or a 15 percent year-on-year rise or close to five times the 1992 level.
Chinese President Hu Jintao has expressed his confidence in the blossoming relationship, predicting bilateral trade will hit US$60 billion to 80 billion by 2010.
Wu tasked major Chinese and Russian companies with exploring new avenues of cooperation, paying special attention to energy, financial services and civilian aircraft manufacturing.
Zhukov further hailed the development of Russian-Chinese relations, pinpointing the soaring trade volumes and burgeoning two-way investments. He also said that Russian companies would match their Chinese counterparts in seeking new cooperation mechanisms and expressed his confidence in meeting the goal of US$60 billion in bilateral trade by 2010.
(Xinhua News Agency June 11, 2007)