Li starts landmark European mission, April 27, 2012

Vice Premier Li Keqiang started a 10-day visit to Russia, Hungary, Belgium and EU headquarters in Brussels on Thursday to promote trade and investment.

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (L) is welcomed upon his arrival in Moscow, Russia, April 26, 2012. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen) 

Business opportunities will emerge from the economic development of China and Russia. Both countries will benefit from increasing development and global influence, Li said in a Russian newspaper article on Thursday.

He said China and Russia are "in total agreement on this point" and viewed each other's growth as opportunities because both nations share similar targets

There is huge potential for cooperation and conditions are ripe for development, he added. Russia is the first leg of the journey and Li is expected to spend four days there, China Daily reported.

China is Russia's largest trade partner, and the second-largest export market.

China-Russia trade surged by 42.7 percent in 2011, from a year earlier, to $79.25 billion.

This overtook the 22.5 percent growth for China's overall foreign trade during the same period. China's imports from Russia last year grew by 55.6 percent and exports to Russia were up by 31.4 percent.

Investment also surged. By the end of 2011, Russia's accumulative investment in China was $818 million, mainly in manufacturing, construction and transportation.

China's investment in Russia reached $2.91 billion, mostly in energy, agriculture, forestry, telecommunication, construction and services.

Li is expected to attend a China-Russia investment and trade promotion forum and deliver the keynote speech.

Li's visit is of "great significance" as it is the first by a Chinese leader since the Russian election in March, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin said at a press conference on Thursday.

Xing Guangcheng, a researcher on Russian studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, noted that besides political ties, economic and trade cooperation will be an important focus during Li's visit.

1   2   Next