Li Keqiang Addresses China-Russia Trade and Investment Promotion Conference
On April 28, 2012, Vice Premier Li Keqiang and Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov jointly attended the opening ceremony of China-Russia Trade and Investment Promotion Conference in the Moscow International Trade Center. Li delivered a speech with the title of Raising China-Russia Trade and Investment Cooperation to a Higher Level.
Li pointed out that China-Russia relations have achieved unprecedented progress and the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership has been continuously deepened in recent years. So far, China has become Russia's largest trade partner while Russia is China's fastest growing trade partner. The bilateral investment cooperation moves forward steadily and a number of large projects are being implemented stably, which has significantly boosted the economic growth of both countries.
He noted that the rapid development of economic and trade cooperation between China and Russia should be attributed to the deepening of bilateral relations and the prosperity and growth of both economies. The relatively fast economic growth of China and Russia provide an important foundation for the two sides to strengthen cooperation, their economic innovation and transformation inject new impetus to enhance the cooperation level and their opening up create new space for the bilateral cooperation. Looking into the future, the bilateral trade and investment cooperation stands at a new historical starting point. The two sides should take the opportunities, pursue mutual benefit, attach equal importance to consolidating cooperation in the traditional areas and expanding new cooperation fields, increase mutual investment while scaling up cooperation projects, pay equal attention to both quantity and quality of cooperation and try to achieve US$100 billion of bilateral trade before 2015 and US$200 billion before 2020 and even higher levels.
He raised four proposals on strengthening China-Russia trade and investment cooperation. First, highlight cooperation in the strategically important areas. China and Russia should guide their large enterprises to continue to cooperate in the key areas of major equipment and infrastructure. In the fields of oil and gas, coal and nuclear energy, cooperation on resources should be deepened and at the same time cooperation on equipment, technologies, intensive and deep processing in both the upstream and downstream sectors should be strengthened. Second, cultivate new cooperation highlights. Cooperation should be actively promoted in the fields of aerospace, nanotechnology, high-end manufacturing, energy saving and environmental protection, biomedicine and information technology. Financial institutions should step up cooperation on financing, providing financial services and expanding local currency settlement so as to better serve the development of the real economy. Third, focus on strengthening the weak links. Mutual investment should be taken as one of the priorities of bilateral cooperation. China is willing to import more high-tech electromechanical products with high added value from Russia. Conditions should be created on both sides to make products needed by each other's market. Fourth, expand cooperation and exchanges at local levels. Local authorities of both sides should strengthen cooperation, share development experience, solve practical problems, explore the establishment of local cooperation and development fund and promote the balanced development of local cooperation in different areas.
Shuvalov said that Russia-China relations are extremely important and both countries have gained tangible benefits from the economic and trade cooperation. Both Russia and China are accelerating domestic economic transformation. They should further deepen economic and trade cooperation, expand the scale and improve the structure of cooperation, increase mutual investment and explore new areas of cooperation.
Around 1,200 people from the business communities of China and Russia attended the event.
Prior to attending the conference, Li and Shuvalov jointly participated in the signing ceremony. Government officials of both countries signed the intergovernmental cooperation documents. Business representatives on both sides signed 26 major cooperation agreements involving infrastructure, energy resources, mechanical and electrical equipment, high technology and finance with a total project volume of US$15.2 billion.