Russia + China = $200 bilion bilateral trade next years

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has expressed satisfaction about the current level of business cooperation between Moscow and Beijing, saying that the two countries plan to increase their bilateral trade volume to $200 billion within the next 3 to 7 years.

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Speaking at a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang, in the Russian city of St. Petersburg on Monday, Medvedev said that a preferential trade regime is being drawn up in a bid to further ease Russo-Chinese transactions and make greater use of national currencies in mutual trade.

He added that a joint Russia-China Venture Fund will soon be set up to foster trade, economic investment and scientific cooperation between Moscow and Beijing, and that the first project agreements will be inked as early as next year.

The Russian prime minister went on to say that an inter-governmental commission will also be established to facilitate cooperation between Russia’s Far East and China’s northeastern regions.

“It was decided to set up a fifth inter-governmental commission, which will deal with the cooperation on the Far East of our country and the northeast of China, which shows the real scope of interaction,” Medvedev said.

During the Monday meeting between Medvedev and Li, Russia’s energy giant, Gazprom, and China Development Bank signed an agreement on possible financing.

Additionally, Vnesheconombank, which Moscow uses to support and improve the Russian economy and to handle Russian state debts and pension funds, reached an agreement with China Development Bank to borrow nearly a billion dollars from the financial institution within a period of 15 years.

Moreover, Russia’s state-controlled oil giant, Rosneft, agreed to sell a 20-percent stake in its subsidiary Verkhnechonskneftegaz to Beijing Gas for around $1.1 billion.

Verkhnechonskneftegaz is engaged in the exploration and development of the Verkhnechonskoe oil and gas condensate field in Eastern Siberia. Rosneft controls 99.94 percent of the company.

A framework agreement was also penned between Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company Sibur, China’s Silk Road Fund and China Development Bank.

The contract includes the sale of share in the Russian company, which operates 26 production sites all over Russia and has over 1,400 major customers in energy, automotive, construction, chemical and other industries in nearly 70 countries.

Electric and labor-intensive goods dominate China’s exports to Russia, while oil, coal, iron ore and other minerals are main imports from Russia.

Li arrived in Saint Petersburg on Sunday ahead of his official meeting with Medvedev on Monday.

Li and Medvedev are also slated to attend the 21st regular meeting of the two countries’ premiers. The senior Chinese official will later sit down for talks with Putin in a visit to the capital, Moscow.

The Chinese premier paid official visits to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Latvia before his stop in Russia on the last leg of his Eurasia tour.