MOSCOW, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- With closer ties and deepening cooperation, China and Russia have made substantial progress in bilateral trade, which is likely to top 120 billion U.S. dollars this year, Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin has said.
"If we look at the first half of this year, the growth is about 30 percent... Our estimates of the full year indicate that the trade turnover between Russia and China may exceed 120 billion U.S. dollars," Oreshkin told Xinhua on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum held in Russia's Vladivostok last week.
"This, of course, is not the result of some one-off decisions. This is the result of a long-term policy of both Russia and China of establishing mutual relations," he said.
Predictable bilateral relations and concerted efforts to develop trade and economic ties have proved that the figures are the result of years of great work on both sides, he added.
Cooperation between China and Russia has been flourishing in several areas in recent years, including finance, high-speed rail, infrastructure construction, aerospace, agriculture, science and technology, innovation and cross-border electricity, in addition to the traditional energy sector.
Oreshkin highlighted the importance of infrastructure, which is the "key to securing bilateral trade."
For example, he said that Russia and China are working on plans to expand the Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian railways in addition to improving routes to facilitate the delivery of goods to Russia from Chinese e-commerce systems.
"Such projects make an additional contribution to the development of bilateral trade," he said.
In particular, Oreshkin hailed the progress made in the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union.
Concrete agreements in the sphere of goods circulation were reached this year, and work is under way on a document of the Eurasian partnership between China and Russia in services, investments and other spheres.
"We can say that there are already specific documents that further facilitate trade and economic relations between our countries," Oreshkin said.
Regional cooperation has also become a hot topic, especially the collaboration between China and Russia in the development of the Russian Far East, the minister said.
"China is the leader in terms of the volume of investment in the Far East. This means a lot. There is a large number of projects in different areas. There are new enterprises. New investments are coming. The mutual trade turnover is increasing," Oreshkin said.
Cross-border trade and settlements in their national currencies are also growing in the Far East, he added.
In order to further promote bilateral trade, negotiations are currently underway between China and Russia to simplify trade in services.
"We are already going beyond simply discussing barriers. We are already preparing to establish interaction on a systematic basis and on sensitive areas such as e-commerce, for example, and trade in various services. Progress here is very notable," he said.