International trade fair kicks off in China's province bordering Russia

08:29, June 15, 2011      

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A major international trade fair kicked off Tuesday in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, which borders Russia.

The Harbin International Fair for Trade and Economic Cooperation, held in the provincial capital Harbin, has attracted more than 110,000 domestic traders, and attendees from about 80 foreign countries and overseas regions, said Tan Yuhong, a spokesman with the fair.

Covering an area of 86,000 square meters, the fair features 3,000 exhibition booths, including sections for green food, the biological industry, traditional Chinese medicine, furniture, tourism and also special exhibitions for Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Russia, Tan said.

The five-day event is organized by the Ministry of Commerce, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Council for the Promotion of International Trade, along with the local governments of Heilongjiang and Harbin.

Since its debut in 1990, the annual event has attracted 1.6 million company representatives and officials and led to deals valued at up to 100 billion U.S. dollars, according to the official website.

As Heilongjiang is where Russia borders China, the fair is also a major platform for economic and trade exchanges between Chinese and Russian merchants. Commencing one day prior to President Hu Jintao's visit to Russia, organizers believe the fair will set a record in trade volume.

Two-way trade volume reached about 60 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, and China has become Russia's largest trade partner, said Hu in a written interview with Russian media Friday.

During Hu's visit to Russia, energy and other economic deals are likely to be concluded between the two countries, which also provides optimism to Chinese and Russian traders at the fair, Tan said.

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