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China's Premier Wen Jiabao (L), Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (C) and Vice Premier Alexander Zhukov attend the Russian-Chinese Economic Forum in Moscow October 28, 2008.

China's Premier Wen Jiabao (L), Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (C) and Vice Premier Alexander Zhukov attend the Russian-Chinese Economic Forum in Moscow October 28, 2008.[China Daily via Agencies] 

It's necessary for China and Russia to join hands and strengthen bilateral ties as well as increase economic and trade collaboration between the two fast-growing economies, Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday.

He made the remarks while addressing the opening ceremony of the Third Sino-Russian Economic Forum, which opened in Moscow yesterday with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in attendance.

Wen praised the rapid growth of collaboration in recent years and tabled proposals for further joint efforts in energy, resources, trade, technology, finance and investment as well as regional and international economic affairs.

He also urged the international community to enhance cooperation amid the global financial crisis, preserve the stability of the international financial system and promote economic growth.

More than 400 officials and businessmen from both countries attended the event.

The first forum was held in Beijing in 2006 as part of the Year of Russia in China.

Putin said that Russia-China economic cooperation is based on common interests and has reached an unprecedented high level, which also benefits the two peoples.

He said Russia welcomes Chinese investment in construction, timber, machine-building and aviation - and that the two trade partners should use their own currencies more in bilateral trade.

Putin encouraged Chinese companies to bid for building facilities for Russia's 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

"Our Chinese friends have extensive experience in hosting such large-scale events," Putin said in a reference to the Beijing Olympics this summer. "We welcome the active participation of Chinese companies in tenders for building sports and infrastructure facilities."

He also said that China could invest in Russia's timber industries and engage in new joint projects in machine-building as well as plans to build a new passenger jet.

Putin hailed the rapid growth in trade that is expected to reach $50 billion this year and added that it could grow to $80 billion in the next few years.

Bilateral trade grew by 23 percent year on year in the first nine months of this year to $43 billion, according to official Chinese data.

The Russian prime minister said the two countries should consider trading more in their own currencies instead of dollars. "The world based on dollars is suffering serious problems, serious failures," he said.

"We should think about improving the system of payments in mutual trade, including a coordinated movement toward a broader use of national currencies."

The two countries yesterday signed a deal on building a trans-Siberian pipeline that will pump 15 million tons of crude to China each year, according to Global Times. No details of the deal were available.

The two leaders also held talks yesterday at the 13th regular meeting of Chinese and Russian prime ministers.

Wen arrived in Moscow on Monday on a three-day visit to Russia. His two-nation tour will also take him to Kazakhstan, where he is scheduled to attend the 7th prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana, the capital.

China and Russia issued a joint communique here Tuesday, pledging further efforts to strengthen strategic coordination and deepen cooperation in various fields.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (2nd L) and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (2nd R) sign a joint communique on the 13th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian prime ministers in Moscow, capital of Russia, Oct. 28, 2008.  [Xinhua]

(China Daily October 29, 2008)


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