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WORLD / Russia
Eastern Economic Forum 2016 : Russia - China, and international
Published time: August 31, 2016 13.57 UTC +3
Last edit: September 1, 2016 06.39 UTC +3
Russia and China:
A progression of discussions, and interest by China regarding investment and talks on Chinese investment in Russia's Far East has been continuing and developing for months now, prior to the opening of the second Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. China has expressed, repeatedly, interest in real and practical business co-operation with Russia.
There is expected to be considerable participation between Russia and China at this forum. Progress in China - Russia relations regarding participation in the Forum has been continuing. In April this year, for example, there were reports of announcements of interest from China in relocation options of Chinese companies to the Russia Far East. In early-mid August, the Deputy General Secretary of China Overseas Development Association, Mr. He Zhenwei, was reported as having stressed an interest in real investments to be made by China in Eastern Russia He emphasized, regarding the EEF, that China is interested in specific and practical applicatons - real investment: '... there are energy, agriculture and infrastructure sectors, but we need specific investment projects for building new transport hubs, revamping transport facilities, laying new roads and constructing new plants." said Mr. He Zhenwei (as reported on forumvostok.ru. 1 )
A source [unamed] within the Chinese Foreign Ministry has told TASS in early - mid August, 2016, that the EEF is important as a framework for the development of Russia and China co-operation in Russia's Far East; that it is a new venue, important, that China is willing to actively take part in development of the Russia Far East on terms beneficial to both countries. (This is the second year of the EEF, the first being in 2015, and by presidental decree, Vladivostok is to continue as the venue for future Eastern Economic Forums).
In regard to Russia and China generally an early-August published interview by Izvestia newspaper (TASS, August 5, 2016) quoted an adviser at the Eurasia Department of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Liu Xuesong, as saying that Russia is soon to be a main target market for China. The adviser said that Beijing has been Moscow’s first trade partner for the sixth year in a row. 'In 2015, the amount of contracts signed between the two countries reached $20 billion,' said Liu Xuesong 2 . The advisor specificially referred to the promotion method used by Russia to attract investment to the Far East as one of the reasons that many Chinese companies are looking to Russia to invest: 'With the improvement of the market conditions and the innovation climate in Russia, especially regarding the pace of the implementation of Russia’s strategy to promote the Far East development, more and more Chinese enterprises are coming to Russia with investments,' said Liu Xuesong2
In terms of specific projects between Russia and China:
Agreements, business investments, and contracts between Russia and China have been discussed, planned or signed during 2016 - and in recent months. A selection shows specific projects:
An agreement in the building and construction sector is anticipated at the EEF between a Chinese company and Russia. Talks have been held between the president of Hongzheng Industrial Construction, Si-Liang Zheng, and Vice Governor of Primorsky Territory Sergey Nekhayev. An agreement was reached at the meeting to work together in Primorsky Territory. The Chinese company has expressed an interest in prioritising the building of housing and office space.
A company established in 2015 ( KR-Industriya) to develop trade and economic links between Russia and China has reportedly (Amurskaya Pravda, July, 2016) stated an interest in the establishment of a business in the Belogorsk ASEZ , and investing in a number of other ventures such as copper and aluminium scrap recycling.
A contract for the construction and delivery of a floating transfer dock has been reported (Vesti Primorye, June, 2016, citing TASS) as signed by Zvezda Shipyard, a company in Russia’s Far East, and Chinese shipbuilding corporations China Shipbuilding & Offshore and Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry. It is expected that construction of many production facilities will begin in 2018. A consortium run by [the Russian company ] Rosneft, is reported as expected to be the main shareholder in Zvezda Shipyard.
In an interview with TASS, cited by the Forum operators, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev, has described some of the aims of the Russia-China Agricultural Fund, and mentions a meeting (reported as having been expected to occur before the beginning of the EEF), of Russia and China in resolving some of the major issues to do with the Primorye-1 and Primorye-2 international transport corridors (ITCs).
The first projects to be financed by the Russian-Chinese Fund for Agro-Industrial Development (RCFAD) will be presented at the 2016 EEF, said the Head of the Ministry for the Development of Russian Far East Alexander Galushka, in an interview with RIA Novosti, cited by forumvostok.ru.
- Katrina Wood
Information: forumvostok.ru, ITAR-TASS (http://tass.com/economy/893487,
Amurskaya Pravda, Vesti Primorye
Quote sources: 1. https://forumvostok.ru/en/chinese-companies-seek-real-investment-projects-at-the-eastern-economic-forum/).
(photo courtesy EEF and TASS)