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China crucial partner for Russia's modernization: Deputy PM


08:35, April 11, 2013

MOSCOW, April 10 (Xinhua) -- China remains one of the most crucial partners to Russia as the latter is striving for modernization, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said.

"Russia has worked out a national strategy for modernization, including a series of specific goals and priorities ... We would like to, in the first place, conduct mutually beneficial cooperation with China," Shuvalov said in an interview with Chinese media on Sunday.

Before his visit to China next week, Shuvalov said bilateral economic and trade cooperation has not reached the peak. "We hope, with the help of mutual visits by high-ranking officials, bilateral trade volume would exceed 100 billion U.S. dollars as soon as possible," he said.

Meanwhile, he admitted mistrust does exist. "For instance, Chinese entrepreneurs believe that the local (Russian) authorities are too restrictive, while the local authorities believe the Chinese agricultural entrepreneurs use fertilizers banned in Russia. So there are mutual complaints," Shuvalov said.

He said such problems "exist on the level of small-and medium-sized businesses and lower- and medium-level bureaucracies. No such problem exists on the high level."

The official said both sides should make efforts to scrape stereotypes and maintain mutual trust. "We see Chinese as investors who will assist in our modernization agenda. In turn, we want Russian investors to be seen in China as desirable ones too," he said.

Shuvalov noted Russia had approved a development scheme for the Far East and Baikal region, a vast area with great potential, till 2020. "China is a strategic partner and neighbor to this area. We will make joint projects with China a priority."

He said the Russian government has taken concrete measures to improve investment environment. "We should deliver more efforts to make investors feel comfortable and welcome here."

Shuvalov recognized the already sound cooperation in energy sphere, noting the importance of cooperation not only in traditional sectors like coal, gas and oil, but in atomic energy.

He also highlighted the possibility to enlarge the scale of local currency settlement in bilateral trade. "Yuan's role in the international trade will increase, and we support that trend. The ruble-yuan trade in the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange is an evidence that we follow that way," the official said.

"The more we get mutually intertwined and more joint projects we develop, the more security we guarantee and more opportunities for development ... Trust is all we need," Shuvalov said.

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