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China, Russia Set for Record Trade Year

Bilateral trade volume between China and Russia is likely to reach US$14 billion, a new high for the fifth consecutive year, said sources with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce Sunday.

Statistics with the General Administration of Customs of China show that bilateral trade volume has risen from US$5.72 billion to US$11.92 billion over the past four years.

Gao Zhongyi, a research fellow at the Development Research Centre of the State Council, said the growing trade volume reflects the rapid rise in economic cooperation. He said the two countries could pursue joint projects in fields like technology and services as well as energy resources and chemicals.

Gao said there is an unprecedented opportunity for the development of economic ties between China and Russia.

Statistics show their bilateral trade volume in the first eight months of 2003 reached US$9.51 billion, up by almost a quarter year on year.

Sergey Tsyplakov, Russia's trade representative to China, said the two countries' presidents aimed to boost bilateral trade volume to US$20 billion in the next three or four years.

At present, Russia is China's eighth biggest trading partner. China is Russia's fourth largest. Trade along the border plays an important role in Sino-Russian economic cooperation.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Russian-Chinese relations are developing well and predicted his upcoming official visit to China will be fruitful.

Speaking with Chinese journalists in a recent interview, the prime minister said he is willing to discuss with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao how Russia and China can cooperate more.

(China Daily September 22, 2003)

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