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Sino-Russian cooperation to be expanded
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Sino-Russian cooperation on trade and the economy has expanded in the past decade, said officials and businessmen at a fair in China's northernmost Heilongjiang Province.

The China Harbin Fair for Trade and Economic Cooperation, aiming to boost cooperation between China and Russia, has served as an effective platform to expand bilateral trade and economic cooperation, especially in the border area, said Geniatulin Ravil Faritovich, governor of Zabaykalsky Krai, who has participated in 10 sessions of the annual fair.

"We have established business contacts with China's Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang. I hope other Chinese provinces and regions and even other countries could know more about ZabaykalskyKrai region by our promotions," the governor said.

This year, Zabaykalsky Krai held a promotion meeting about the fair in the hope of introducing the region's business projects as well as attracting investment.

Many other regions in Russia, especially in the Far East area and Siberia, also held promotional events, including Jewish Autonomous Oblast and Primorskiy.

Apart from project promotions and trade negotiations, the two countries also held forums concerning foreign labor service and regional cooperation in an attempt to increase understanding of enterprises from both countries.

"We hope to establish contacts with enterprises and government officials in Russia so as to make wise investment decisions," said Jiang Hong, a representative form eastern Zhejiang-based Dunan Holdings Group Co., Ltd., who had attended the fair for several times.

On Russian Business Day, which was held in Harbin on Monday, a total of 1.29 billion US dollars worth of business agreements were signed between China and Russia, covering apparel, footwear, iron ore, timber, oil and gas exploration, and residence construction, according to the organizing committee of the fair.

According to Russia's Commercial Representative Office in China, China has been the most important business partner from the Far East. In Khabarovsk Krai, 40 percent of the region's trade come from China and in Jewish Oblast, the trades with China hit 80 percent of its total. The border trade has reached 20 percent of the bilateral trade, compared with 1.5 percent in 1983.

Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Yu Guangzhou said enterprises from both countries should put priority on further processing of timber, infrastructure construction, agricultural development in the Far East area and Siberia as well as reconstructing traditional industrial bases in northeast China.

The International Harbin Fair for Trade and Economic Cooperation, which runs from June 15 to 19, has attracted about 1.4 million businessmen from more than 80 countries and regions since it began in 1990.

(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2008)

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