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Ice Breaking Steps Made in Sino-Russia Trade

As Harbin International Trade and Economic Cooperation Fair opened on Tuesday, Sino-Russia trade ties have became a focus. 
When approaching China's northeastern provinces, you'll find more and more Russian-style things around you. From food and architecture to fashion and ways of life, the subtle changes in the surroundings are a result of regional intimacy and the long history of cooperation.

But when talking about trade relations, both sides are not satisfied.

According to Konstantin Pulikovsky, the Russian President's representative in the Far Eastern federal district, Chinese investment to Russia last year was even less than half a percent of the total investment volume Russia attracted from overseas. For China, its tens of thousands of small peddlers have become victims of the high tariffs and the sluggish custom declaration procedures in Russia.

On the ongoing Sino-Russia Trade Forum, held simultaneously with the Harbin trade fair, both sides seem to have decided to tackle the problems head-on.

Jiang Zhenghua, vice chairman of China's top legislative body addresses some of the key points in tackling Sino-Russian trade ties.

He says that work should be done in several aspects, such as restructuring trade structure, and regulating business behavior.

China expects to see bilateral trade expand from present textile products, food and raw materials to high-tech processed products. Jiang Zhenghua also calls for both sides to better regulate traders and streamline competition. Meanwhile, the level of Sino-Russia trade should be raised, by promoting cooperation in large scale projects. Last but not least, the two sides should strive to create a better investment environment by reducing trade barriers and tariffs.

As Heilongjiang province is China's biggest trader with Russia, it will be the pioneer in carrying out these measures, thereby magnifying its role in the Sino-Russia trade.
(CRI June 16, 2004)

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