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China-Russia economic cooperation has great potential

Updated: Jan 20,2016 9:24 AM     Xinhua

China-Russia economic and trade cooperation has great potential despite a setback last year, said Li Hui, the Chinese ambassador to Russia, on Jan 19.

Trade between the two countries was $64.2 billion in 2015, down 27.8 percent from the previous year, according to Chinese figures.

However, Li said the decline was just a temporary phenomenon, mainly attributable to the global economic downturn and the sharp fall of oil prices.

“We are fully confident that we will rapidly develop our economic and trade cooperation; we have great potential,” Li said at the presentation of a Russian-Chinese picture album dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the victory of World War II.

The ambassador noted that in 2015, China and Russia reached a large number of agreements of strategic significance in high-speed railway projects, the development of widebody aircraft, as well as agreements in the fields of e-commerce and agriculture.

He said President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have agreed on a range of joint strategic projects at their meetings last year, primarily the alignment of the China-proposed “Belt and Road” initiative with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union project. The alignment is aimed at promoting infrastructure building, financial cooperation and cultural exchanges between the two sides.

“This will inject impetus to the strengthening of economic and interaction between China and Russia,” said Li.

The ambassador said both countries are determined to increase mutual investment, adding that he was regularly approached by potential Chinese investors interested in Russia.