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German Gref will discuss trade and economic cooperation and Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization with Bo Xilai on August 4.
Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref will discuss trade and economic cooperation and Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization with his Chinese counterpart, Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai, on August 4. The ministers will meet as part of the 6th session of the trade and economic cooperation subcommission of the Russian-Chinese commission for regular contacts between prime ministers, the press service of the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said on Monday. According to the ministry's data, in 2003 Russia became China's largest trade partner (after Japan, the U.S., Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Malaysia and Singapore). Russia accounts for 1.8% of China's foreign trade turnover. In 2003, the highest rate of bilateral trade turnover in the history of Russian-Chinese and Soviet-Chinese relations was achieved. It totaled $15.7 billion (32.1% growth against 2002), including $9.7 billion in exports to China (15.6% growth) and $6 billion in imports from China (71.4% growth). Russia's favorable balance was estimated at $3.7 billion (a 24.4% drop against 2002). Russia supplies important raw materials to China. It meets 60% of China's timber needs, 20% of its steel needs, 4-5% of its oil needs, etc. Thus Russia's share in certain goods is much higher than its average share in China's foreign trade. Meanwhile, Russia is striving to expand its exports to include, above all, civil engineering products such as energy engineering goods and equipment for nuclear, hydroelectric and thermoelectric power plants, the Russian Economic Development and Trade Ministry said. The diversification of the trade structure, an increase of the share of civil engineering products, provision of stable and predictable conditions of mutual trade, completion of bilateral talks on Russia's accession to the WTO and promotion of mutual investments are the top priorities of Russian-Chinese cooperation in 2004, the ministry reported.
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