On May 13, the press conference for the first China-Russia Expo was held by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as “MOFCOM”). Sun Yao, Deputy Governor of Heilongjiang Province, Ling Ji, Director-general of the Department of European-Central Asian Affairs, and Gruzdev, Russia’s trade representative in China, separately introduced the preparation work of the China-Russia Expo (hereinafter referred to as the “Expo”) and the economic and trade relations between China and Russia.
Sun Yao said the China-Russia Expo is an important window and platform for the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. Heilongjiang Province, in accordance with the relevant agreements between the governments of China and Russia, is practically preparing the Expo from three levels, namely “exhibition, conversation, and talk”. Firstly, positively promote the interconnection of the Development Plan for Heilongjiang and Northeastern Inner Mongolia approved by the State Council and the National Planning for Social and Economic Development of Far East and Baikal of Russian Federation, the expansion of China-Russia cooperation from goods trade to intensive integration of industry chain, and the organic combination of advantageous market factors of the two countries. Secondly, promote the preliminary matchmaking for large enterprises and projects of the two countries. Thirdly, positively promote easy customs clearance for people and goods flows between the two countries. Furthermore, Heilongjiang will make best efforts to design the exhibition hall, organize the Expo, and further improve the service level and negotiation efficiency.
Ling Ji said, in recent years, the economic and trade relations between China and Russia maintained a steady and fast development trend as a whole, with enlarging bilateral trade scale year by year, fast development of investment cooperation and smooth proceeding for cooperation on strategic large projects. Firstly, the bilateral trade has grown continuously. In the first four months of the year, the China-Russia trade volume has maintained the growing trend and reached USD29.06 billion, increased by 3.4%. Russia is still one of main trade partners of China and China has been the largest trade partner of Russia for four successive years. Though the trade growth rate of the two countries seems insignificant in last year and during January and April of this year, there are many positive changes in the structure and pattern of trade. Secondly, the speed of investment cooperation accelerates. Since the beginning of this year, the mutual investments between China and Russia have increased at a fast speed, especially China’s investment in Russia. The non-financial direct investment of China in Russia was USD4.07 billion in 2013, increasing by over five times than that in 2012. According to the statistics of Russia, the accumulated investment of China in Russia has exceeded USD32 billion, and China has become one of Russia’s main foreign investment countries. Thirdly, the results of strategic large projects are remarkable. China and Russia, being large developing countries and important emerging economies, both face the tough task of structural adjustment in development, which can actually bring quite a lot of opportunities for cooperation in large projects, and have reached agreement and are negotiating on many large projects in fields such as energy, resource development, large manufacturing industry, etc., which will motivate the investment and trade growth between the two countries. Fourthly, the boundary and inter-regional cooperation is booming. Though the current international economic situation is unfavorable in the demand aspect, China and Russia have carried out a series of large cooperation projects depending on the strong motive force of local development and the exuberant local market demands, and many projects are long-term and strategic. China and Russia shall further strengthen cooperation among enterprises and enhance the inter-regional cooperation between both sides. Thanks to Russia’s planning to build the Far East into the new growth pole of Russian economy, China and Russia will have new opportunities in cooperation in the development of the Far East.
Gruzdev said, China-Russia Expo is a unique event in the economic and trade history of the two countries, the first expo jointly held by the two parties, and shows a high comprehensive partnership level between China and Russia once again. During the Expo, Russia will establish the Russia Pavilion incorporating exhibition areas for national image, finance, large enterprises, industries, etc. Russia hopes the China-Russia Expo will become a new highlight for intensifying the comprehensive strategic partnership between both sides.