Russia-China Forum: $US 3 billion of deals

The second Russia-China Economic Forum has drawn to a close in Moscow with both sides agreeing to build on and extend trade and investment relations. Deals worth $US 3 billion have been agreed.

A key theme of the forum has been the need for more Russian companies to move into the Chinese market with more downstream processing of raw materials, which dominate Russia's exports to the booming Asian giant.

Currently, Russia and China are working on improving the structure of their trade relationship with almost three quarters of Russia’s exports being raw materials.

The forum is a good opportunity for both countries to diversify  into different sectors, including the manufacture of machinery and technical products.

“Bilateral co-operation in different sectors of trade has increased. The most important sectors for our trade are machinery, investment, industrial co-operation, timber and the development of small and medium size business. All that will be discussed at the forum,” stated Viktor Zubkov, the Russian Prime Minister.

The first day of the forum saw the signing of a range of agreements primarily in the nuclear power industry.

The two sides have agreed to jointly build a gas centrifuge plant in China to enrich uranium, and also to construct the second phase of the Tianwan nuclear power plant.

Further processing of Russia’s timber exports in Russia is also on the agenda, with more than 70 joint-projects, and plans to expand further with another $US 700 million of investment.

“We need to build economic relations with China once again. There are different projects in place, but most of them are Chinese. I think there should be more mutual projects. I see the development of the timber industry between the two countries as very positive,” said Aleksandr Shokhin, President of the Russian Industrialists' and Enterpreneurs' Union.

With the volume of deals signed this week expected to hit almost $US 3 billion, investment ties between the nations is set to grow. Chinese construction companies have committed more than $US 5 billion to the Russian market this year and other Chinese manufacturers, including automanufacturers, also have projects in the pipeline.

The second Russia-China Economic Forum is the largest event that brings together trade representatives from both countries. It's hoped that the outcome of this forum will be the further development of the Russian and Chinese economies.