Cooperation between Russia, China flourishes in Far East, says minister
Joint projects between Russia and China in the Far East region have seen notable progress and the two sides are expected to further enhance their ties in various fields, said Russian Minister for the Development of the Far East and Arctic Alexander Kozlov.
Russia is hosting the three-day Eastern Economic Forum in its Pacific coast city of Vladivostok, aiming to attract investment in the Far East and promote exchanges among businesses.
Trade and investment between China and Russia in the Far East have both increased in recent years, said Kozlov in an interview with Xinhua.
Investment from China has accounted for 71 percent of the total direct foreign investments worth 33 billion U.S. dollars that have come to the Far East in the past four years.
He highlighted the results in implementing joint projects in such fields as transportation infrastructure, energy, science and technology, industry and agriculture.
Two cross-border bridges including a railway bridge and an automobile bridge will go into operation in the spring of next year, according to Kozlov.
The two countries are now working on the creation of a cross-border transport and logistics agglomeration centering around the automobile bridge, which will "significantly increase" the scale of cross-border economic and trade cooperation, he added.
Meanwhile, the modernization of transport corridors Primorye-1 and Primorye-2 connecting Russia's Far East and China's northeastern region is also being discussed between the two sides.
Cooperation in the energy sector flourishing
Cooperation in the energy sector has continued to tap its vast potential, Kozlov said.
"Energy cooperation between our countries in the Far East is traditional. It is growing, and will keep growing in the near future," he said.
For instance, he said the first gas deliveries would begin this year via the Power of Siberia pipeline, a joint project of Russian and Chinese gas giants.
Speaking of Russia-China joint projects in the field of industry, Kozlov said out of some 50 projects with Chinese investments that work within the framework of the Far Eastern preferential regimes, territories of priority development and the Free Port of Vladivostok, 12 are implemented in industry.
"This is a good start, and we expect that the number of joint projects will grow," Kozlov said.
He noted, in particular, that the Russian Far East is interested in close partnership with China in the field of scientific and technological development.
"For Russia, the development of this area is a priority, while China has serious technological developments and owns innovative technologies," he said.
In addition, Kozlov also praised the cooperation in agriculture, adding that there is much to move on.
Russia is planning to increase the supply of milk, poultry meat, soybeans and soy products to China, as well as to begin the export of beef, according to him.
Chinese enterprises are also investing in projects for growing and processing soy, rice and corn, as well as building a granary.