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Zhukov visits China for Russia - China talks.
Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China - Hong Kong must play an increased role in the relations between China and Russia, believes Russian Vice Premier Alexander Zhukov. "Being one of the largest financial centers in the world, Hong Kong must play a more significant role in the relations between China and Russia, in stimulating the flow of capital toward lucrative projects on the Russian and Chinese markets," stated Mr. Zhukov in a welcome speech at the opening of the international conference "The expansion of capital: from national economy to transnational" in Hong Kong. The Russian Vice-Premier emphasized the importance of cooperation with Asian countries for Russian foreign policy. "Recently, the economic and trade ties between Russia and China has been characterized by steady and positive development. Only through the period from January to July, 2004, the volume of Russian-Chinese trade turnover has reached $11.1 billion, which is 37% more than through the same period of 2003," announced Mr. Zhukov. In his turn, Russian Consul General in Hong Kong Andrei Smorodin said that Russia has traditionally maintained stable partnership relations with Hong Kong. "The first Russian consulate in Hong Kong was opened in 1857. At the same time, several Russian companies opened their trade representations here, namely - the Russia insurance company and the Faberge company," Mr. Smorodin said. "At that time, visits of Russian ships to Hong Kong were as frequent as visits of British ships," Russian Consul General added. He said that the first Russian consulate in Hong Kong was closed in 1921 and the diplomatic relations between Russia and Hong Kong were severed for 70 years. "This year, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of the consulate of the Russian Federation in Hong Kong and it is symbolic that this forum, involving representatives of the Russian political elite and business circles, is taking place here at this particular moment," underlined Mr. Smorodin. The international conference "The expansion of capital: from national economy to transnational" is held in Hong Kong on November 8-10. Among the Russian participants of the conference are: Chairman of YUKOS Board of Directors Victor Geraschenko, Russian President's aide Andrei Illarionov, First Deputy Chair of the Central Bank Tatiana Paramonova and
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