PETERSBURG, Russia, June 19 (Greenpost) — China’s economic growth will bring new development opportunities for the world, especially for cooperation in Euro-Asia regions, a Russian official said here Thursday.
Boris Titov, chairman of the Russian part of the China-Russia Friendship Committee for Peace and Development, said in an interview with Xinhua that “China’s economic momentum is unstoppable and its growth will bring fresh development opportunities for world economies including Russia.”
China has become the world’s second largest economy by nominal total gross domestic product (GDP), Titov noted, adding that the most prominent characteristic of China’s economic “new normal” is the transformation of its economic development mode.
Under the “new normal” status, the export-driven economy will now need to refocus on boosting domestic consumption, which will unleash the full potential of China’s economy.
However, Titov said, a substantial amount of Chinese investment will find its way to markets around the world as the country’s economy keeps growing.
China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative is conducive to the infrastructure development of the countries concerned in the Euro-Asia region, he said, adding that benefit-sharing is the most prominent characteristic of this strategy.
“The strategy will do nothing to harm the interests of the countries concerned. Instead, it will help these countries develop their own economies, and that is why the strategy gets very strong support from them,” Titov said.
As for bilateral cooperation, Titov said that energy is a key area of Russia-China economic cooperation, and the two countries’ cooperation in the area of small- and medium-sized businesses is also quite promising.
Titov said that a Russian-Chinese forum on small- and medium-sized businesses was successfully held in Beijing in April, adding that China’s economic growth will give impetus to the development of Russia’s small- and medium-sized businesses and will also help the country exit the recession at an earlier date.
According to official statistics, China’s investment in Russia has been growing steadily over the past few years. Chinese direct investment in Russia, including those via third countries, totaled 33 billion U.S. dollars by 2014.
At the 19th Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) which opened on Thursday, a group of Chinese and Russian companies officially signed a contract on jointly conducting the pre-construction survey and design of the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway.
The 770-kilometer railway is a key infrastructure development project for Russia. It is estimated to cost more than 20 billion dollars. Upon completion in 2018, the rail link will dramatically reduce the travel time between Moscow and Kazan from 14 hours to three and a half hours. Moreover, it will become part of the planned Beijing-Moscow high-speed transport corridor.
Besides the high-speed railway, China and Russia are also working on such large-scale cooperation projects as cross-border natural gas pipelines, the development of large, wide-body airplanes and a development strategy for the Far East region.
Both China and Russia have injected more and more financial resources into these cooperation projects. The central banks of the two countries signed a currency swap agreement worth 150 billion RMB or 815 billion rubles (24 billion dollars) last October. The amount of RMB currency used in bilateral trade settlement at the Russian branch of Bank of China grew more than six times last year, according to branch chief Zhao Lianjie.
The National Development Bank of China, a state-owned bank for financing overseas investment by Chinese companies, has signed cooperation agreements with three major Russian banks in May to finance large-scale cooperation projects and the development of the Far East region.
China and Russia have also stepped up financial cooperation on such multilateral platforms as the Silk Road Fund and the Asia Infrastructure Development Bank.
Under the direct guidance of top leaders of both countries, investment and financial cooperation have become a new growth point for the China-Russia all-round strategic cooperation partnership. Two-way trade is expected to top 100 billion dollars this year after reaching an all-time high of 95.3 billion dollars in 2014.
Editor Xuefei Chen Axelsson