Source Pravda.Ru

Russia and China to discuss Russia's entry into WTO

On August 4, Russia and China will discuss in Moscow trade and economic cooperation and Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the press-service of Russia's Economic Development and Trade Ministry said on Wednesday.

On that day, the ministry will host the 7th session of the Russo-Chinese subcommission on trade and economic cooperation, the press-service added.

Taking part on the Russian side will be Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref, Director of the ministry's Trade Negotiations Department Maxim Medvedkov and Director of the Foreign Economic Relations Department Yelena Danilova. The make-up of the Chinese delegation will be announced later.

According to the Ministry, in 2003 Russia became China's ninth largest trading partner (after Japan, the US, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Malaysia and Singapore). Russia's share of China's overall trade is 1.8 per cent.

Last year's results show that bilateral trade reached the highest level in all history of Soviet- and Russian-Chinese trade. Russia's turnover with China totaled 15.7 billion dollars (a rise of 32.1 per cent compared with 2002). Exports to China were 9.7 billion dollars (up by 15,6 per cent) and imports from China, 6 billion dollars (an increase of 71.4 per cent).

Russia's export surplus was about 3.7 billion dollars (down by 24.4 per cent from 2002).

Russia supplies China with key raw materials. In timber it meets 60 per cent of China's requirements, in steel, about 20 per cent, and in oil, around 4-5 per cent. In other words, in a number of commodities Russia's proportion is substantially higher than its average share of China's external trade.

At the same time, Russia seeks to extend the list of its deliveries, above all through civilian engineering products, power engineering equipment, and equipment for atomic, hydro- and thermal power plants.

Among the main priorities of Russian-Chinese cooperation in 2004 is diversification of the commodity pattern and increasing in it the share of engineering products for civilian needs, providing stable and predictable conditions for mutual trade, completion of bilateral negotiations on Russia's accession to the WTO, and more active coordination of investment efforts.

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