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Siberia, China promote cooperation


NOVOSIBIRSK, July 3 (RIA Novosti, Yana Ryabinskaya) - Siberian regions and China have turned from intentions to practical cooperation, Russian president's special envoy in the Siberian Federal District Anatoly Kvashnin said at a Sunday meeting among heads of Siberian regions and Chinese President Hu Jintao in Novosibirsk.

"Last year the Russian-Chinese trade grew by 30% and the trade of Siberian regions increased 1.5-fold," Kvashnin said. "This trend has been preserved in 2005 and the potential is not exhausted.'

Siberia is developing proactive cooperation with China's northeastern and northwestern provinces, he added.

"Siberian regions presented their export and investment opportunities at the 16th international fair in Harbin. Over 40 cooperation agreements were signed," Kvashnin said. "A protocol on cooperation with the Chinese province Heilongjiang was signed in Omsk this week."

Cooperation in the hi-tech, oil and gas, petrochemical, forestry and energy spheres is a key trend of the Chinese-Siberian cooperation, the envoy said.

"This meeting will hopefully open broader opportunities to promote bilateral cooperation," he added.

Hu Jintao said, in turn, that regional cooperation was a key aspect of Russian-Chinese strategic partnership.

"The Russian-Chinese regional cooperation has a serious basis owing to bilateral efforts. Russia and China have 67 pairs of twin-cities and nine Chinese provinces have trade and economic links with Russian regions," the president said. "Border trade accounts for 25% of Russian-Chinese trade. It plays an important role in promoting bilateral trade."

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