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China, Russia ink deals worth over $7bln
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Oct 11, 2011

China said Tuesday it had signed trade and economic deals worth more than $7 billion with Russia, ahead of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's planned visit to Beijing.

Putin is due to arrive Tuesday with a 160-member delegation for a two-day trip -- his first foreign visit since he declared a planned Kremlin comeback -- during which he will meet his counterpart Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao.

China's foreign ministry said Tuesday that officials from both countries had already signed 16 agreements worth more than $7 billion "in the fields of technology transfer, research and development and mineral development".

It gave no further details of the deals, which were signed at a summit Monday held ahead of Putin's visit, and attended by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov.

Zhukov told the Kommersant daily that the package includes a $4-billion financial deal, four investment projects with a price tag of $90 million, and five trade projects worth $2.55 billion.

Putin and Wen are due to oversee a signing ceremony after they hold talks later Tuesday, but it is unclear whether new agreements will be signed.

Plans to pump Russian gas to China, meanwhile, are expected to top talks between the two sides. Russia is the world's largest energy producer and China the largest energy consumer.

Russian gas giant Gazprom and China National Petroleum Company signed a framework agreement in 2009 that could eventually see almost 70 billion cubic metres of Russian gas sent to China annually for the next 30 years.

However, talks have become bogged down in pricing disagreements. Hu's visit to Moscow in June delivered no breakthrough, and Chinese state media said this trip was also unlikely to yield a firm, final contract.

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China to invest $1 billion in Russian fund
Beijing (AFP) Oct 11, 2011 - China's sovereign wealth fund will invest $1 billion in a new Russian state-backed fund to encourage foreign direct investment in Russia, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's spokesman said Tuesday.

The deal came at the end of the first day of Putin's meetings with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and other senior leaders, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told AFP.

The China Investment Corporation will put $1 billion into the the Russian Direct Investment Fund, founded in June with backing from Putin and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

"Russia-China relations are very positive in various fields right now, from agriculture and high-tech cooperation to humanitarian relations and investment," Peskov said.

China's investment is the Russian fund's first major contribution.

Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the fund, told The Wall Street Journal that it hopes to raise an additional $1 billion to $2 billion from other Chinese investors.

Putin is in China for a two-day visit, on his first trip abroad since he said he is seeking a return to the Russian presidency.


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