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Features - Editor, 18 February 2011

Chinese-Funded Trade Center Opens in Russia



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Speaking at a press conference in Moscow this week, the chairperson of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Russia, Cai Guiru, announced that the Greenwood International Trade Center was open for business. The new center, which has been financed by China Chengtong Development Group, is around 70 percent complete, with the remaining 30 percent of the 132,600 square meters of construction expected to be finished in three months, whereupon the Greenwood International Trade Center will be fully operational. It was reported that already 28 Russian enterprises have entered into contracts for space in the center. As the largest single Chinese-funded investment project in Russia, the trade center will serve as a platform for introducing Chinese products into the Russian market, while at the same time building the brand image of products with the "Made in China" label.

Sino-Russian trade relations have been under the spotlight in recent months, with talks taking place in Moscow in January between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo. Among other topics, there was discussion of prospects for the development of cooperation between the two countries on a number of levels, including security issues and mutually beneficial trade relations. President Medvedev reiterated that Russia sees China as its closest partner, and Russia is willing to work with China in promoting cooperation on all matters. The Chinese State Councilor was in agreement with the views expressed by the Russian President, noting that the first decade of the 21st century had proven to be important for relations between the two countries, with cooperation into the future being a common goal.

The Greenwood International Trade Center serves as a visible manifestation of the cooperation between China and Russia that has been going on for years. At the press conference mentioned above, the Minister Counselor for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Chinese Embassy to Russia, Ling Ji, revealed that total trade volume between Russia and China reached US$55.45 billion in 2010, representing an increase of 43.1 percent compared to the previous year. It was noted that Sino-Russian trade had returned to the level it was at prior to the global financial crisis and was expected to continue strengthening.

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