Wang Kun, a driver for a biomedicine company in Beijing, has never been to Russia.
But he now has a rudimentary impression of China's biggest neighbor in the north. "Russia is pretty advanced," he said, as he was waiting in a queue of more than 20 people for his turn to take a picture in front of a photo of a solemn-looking Vladimir Putin posted on a huge billboard.
The occasion is the Russian National Exhibition, which opened to the public yesterday and will continue through the weekend at the China World Trade Center in Beijing as a grand finale of the "Year of Russia in China."
Some 700 mostly large-scale conglomerates, businesses, design and research institutes from Russia have joined the exhibition that presents a contemporary Russia, which is making scientific and technological headway not only in space, aviation, nuclear energy and machinery, but also in medicine and food processing.
The organizers hope the exhibition will push Russian enterprises to export more Russian products and services.
Some major Russian firms already have a firm foothold in China, such as JSC Atomstroyexport, which implements contracts of the Russian Federation within the framework of intergovernmental agreements for the construction of nuclear power plants worldwide.
Alexander Selikhov, chief officer in charge of the building of the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant in Lianyungang, east China's Jiangsu Province, told China Daily his team has at times more than 1,000 Russian engineers, technicians and workers.
Others have more eye-catching exhibits from prototypes of space shuttles, models of satellites to aircrafts and their engines. Of those, Resurs-DK1 satellite from Samara Space Center drew keen eyes from a lot of visitors, with Premier Wen Jiabao among them.
Sergev I Efimov, the center's department head, was proud that Wen spent some time at his booth on Friday morning after he cut the ribbon to open the show. "I told Wen how our satellite can record and capture even a single tree or a moving car from outer space," Efimov said.
Apart from the hardware, the Russians are also showing their expertise in software. Dmitriy Kiselyov, greater China regional director of Prognoz, said his company has successfully collaborated with China's Development Research Center of the State Council and developed an economic analytical and forecast model suitable for analyzing and forecasting the trend and changes in China's macro-economy.
Kiselyov told China Daily that the system is unique in that it takes into account not only recent indexes but also historical data, and monitors current changing figures. "Businesses can also apply similar systems to measure their performance and forecast their growth along with the overall development in the country," he said.
Hardware and software aside, Russia is also promoting its development in tourism, culture and urban expansion, with which several regions hope to allure Chinese investment.
Shanghai Industrial Investment (Holdings) Co Ltd has started what it terms a "Pearl of the Baltic Sea" project in St. Petersburg, where the company is undertaking to build a new resort city for both local people and potential tourists. The project involves an investment of US$1.3 billion.
"This project is considered one of the key projects in China-Russia strategic cooperation," said Wang Sizheng, deputy chief economist of the Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission.
(China Daily November 11, 2006)