Trade between Russia, China will grow 20-30% this year

Trade turnover between Russia and China has been growing at an annual rate of 20 to 30 percent in the past few years, and the two countries are expected to maintain the pace this year, too, Russian Vice Premier Viktor Khristenko said at a press conference on the RIA Novosti premises Thursday.

Mr. Khristenko said last year's official trade turnover between Russia and China reached 12 billion dollars and that their shuttle trade came to this same amount in 2002.

Speaking of the mainstays of Sino-Russian trade, the Vice Premier said they are reflective of the structure of the respective economy. Machinery accounts for a greater part of Chinese exports while Russia exports mostly raw materials, first of all timber and petroleum products, he said.

According to Mr. Khristenko, the range of industries involved in trade will continue to grow, with high-tech sectors to play an increasingly important part. Energy, including nuclear energy, as well as oil and gas will be among the priority areas of economic cooperation between Russia and China, the Vice Premier predicted.

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