SANYA (China), November 1 (RIA Novosti) - Trade between Russia and China may reach $28 billion for 2005, Russian Vice Premier Alexander Zhukov said Tuesday.
Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Wu Yi had previously made a similar forecast.
Zhukov and Wu Yi participated in a session of a Russian-Chinese commission Tuesday to prepare for a meeting between the countries' heads of government scheduled for November 3-4.
In 2004, bilateral trade hit $21.23 billion, up 34.7% year on year.
Trade during the first nine months of 2005 reached $20.74 billion, up 37.1% year on year.
Russian exports to China are dominated by processed and unprocessed natural resources. Crude oil exports are the fastest growing, while machine and equipment exports are declining, accounting for only 2.6% of the total in the first eight months of 2005.
At the same time, Imports of machines and equipment into Russia from China are up, comprising 20.1% of the total in the first 8 months, compared to 17.2% in 2004.
Zhukov said trade between the countries must be diversified through bilateral investment and cooperation.
Russia also needs to improve the marketing of its technical products in China and the government will provide support for this, he said.
Wu Yi proposed that an exhibition of Russian machines and equipment could be held in China in 2006 as a measure to solve the problem. Russia must also provide a system of post-sale servicing of its products in China, she said.
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The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.