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Russia, China agree to create working group for space cooperation projects

Russia and China have agreed on three new mechanisms of cooperation, including a working group for space cooperation projects.

The arrangement was finalized at Friday's meeting between Russian Economic Development Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev and China's Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, Ulyukayev's press-secretary Yelena Lashkina has said.

"The issue on the agenda is creation of a joint high-level working group for strategic Russian-Chinese space cooperation projects. Russia suggested including in this list some projects tapping Russia's transit potential, cooperation in navigation systems and joint projects in the aluminium industry," Lashkina said.

Also, Ulyukayev and Gao discussed two more cooperation mechanisms in the investment field, she said, adding that Russia and China would set up a bilateral investment committee.

"Ulyukayev and Gao believe that mutual investment will prove a new point of growth for the Russian and Chinese economies. The projects on the agenda may increase China's direct investments in the Russian economy seven-fold by 2020," Lashkina said.

The third proposed track envisages measures to intensify cooperation in Russia's Far East.

"As Aleksei Ulyukayev said, the forms of Chinese companies participation may vary to encompass investment, loans, contract works and participation in projects throughout their life cycle. Also, the two men discussed prospects for Chinese companies' operation and control of special economic zones and territories of outpacing development, being created in the Far East. China's commerce minister pointed to the importance of Russia's support for the Chinese initiative of creating an Asia-Pacific free trade zone within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation by 2025," Lashkina said.

Ulyukayev and Gao met on the eve of the APEC ministerial forum, opening in Qingdao on May 17. The APEC incorporates 21 countries and territories of the region, including Russia, China, the United States, South Korea, Japan and the Southeast Asian states. This region produces more than half of the global GDP. Russia has participated in the APEC forum since 1997.

[Source: Itar Tass, Qingdao, 17May14]

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