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By Song Lijun (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-03-15 06:51

Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China is launching a string of promotional events this year aimed at Russia, its biggest trade partner.

"Heilongjiang has mapped out a comprehensive work plan in a bid to promote all-around strategic partnership and neighborly cooperation with Russia," said Wang Limin, vice-governor of the province.

The promotional events will aim to further boost the province's flourishing trade with Russia, especially in view of "China Year in Russia" being observed this year.

Heilongjiang will organize a special show during the China National Exhibition in the Russian capital Moscow at the end of this month, showcasing the province's signature commodities and top export enterprises, especially in terms of exports to Russia.

"This will enhance the image of Heilongjiang's enterprises in Russia," the vice-governor noted.

Heilongjiang will also focus on greater exchanges with Russia in the high-tech sector, as the competitiveness of the province's enterprises has been sharpened through trade with it.

Also, a Heilongjiang Week will be held in Moscow later this month.

During that week, the province will strive to promote the 18th China International Fair for Trade and Economic Cooperation (Harbin Fair) to be held in June, and some investment projects especially tailored for Russian investors.

Trade seminars with Russian investors to promote projects located in China-Russia trade areas, as well as economic cooperation and export-processing areas will also be part of the events of the week.

Hafei, a top Heilongjiang auto brand, will offer test drives of its products in Moscow, as an advertising exercise as well as to seek more cooperation in the sector.

Further, a Sino-Russian High-tech Cooperation Seminar will also be held in the Russian capital, as Heilongjiang attaches great importance to exploring the immense potential in this field and aims to take it to a new high.

The province also plans to expand its collaboration with Russia in the electronics and equipment manufacturing sectors.

A photo exhibition will be part of the trade promotion events, depicting the traditional friendship and long history with Russia. This will include a special show displaying the fine arts skills of Heilongjiang people.

"Heilongjiang Day" will also be observed in seven regions and districts in Russia, including the Amur Region and the Jewish Administrative District.

Top Heilongjiang officials will meet with their counterparts in Russia to deepen friendship and trade partnership.

"The events will consolidate Heilongjiang's trade status in Russia," Wang said.


Heilongjiang's trade was on an upswing last year.

Total trade value was $12.86 billion, up 34.3 percent in 2006.

The rapid development makes Heilongjiang the 11th province to cross the annual trade value mark of $11 billion.

There have been major breakthroughs in the province's trade structure with Russia.

Ten key energy and raw material cooperation projects are in progress.

The province imported 9.42 million cubic meters of logs and 1.49 million tons of crude oil from Russia.

Eight Sino-Russian projects for harmless treatment of hazardous chemical waste have become operational.

Heilongjiang's investment in Russia also reached a historical high of $837 million last year, tripling the figures of two years ago.

The province's total trade value with Russia hit $6.69 billion, growing 17.8 percent and accounting for 52 percent of its total import and export value.

Heilongjiang's trade value with Russia also made up 20 percent of the nation's total last year.

In 2006, the province successfully organized 24 events during the Russia Year in China, which significantly enhanced Sino-Russian trade.

Electronic machinery export to Russia increased to $1.73 billion in 2006, doubling the figures of 2005.

Export of Heilongjiang's top auto brand Hafei grew to 370,000 units, topping the nation in terms of total export volume of auto companies.

In another development, the "going global" strategy has also helped many Heilongjiang enterprises seize overseas development opportunities.

Forty-nine new companies began investing overseas last year, with 118 construction and labor service project deals inked during the period.

The Longxing Group in Heilongjiang has successfully cooperated with Russian companies in developing metal technology in Russia.

Investment promotion events in Britain, France and the Republic of Korea, as well as some economic powerhouses in China, such as the city of Shanghai, the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have received a warm response

The total actually-utilized foreign investment in Heilongjiang reached $1.71 billion, a rise of 18 percent. The actually-utilized investment from other provinces and regions amounted to 30 billion yuan, growing by 30 percent.

Apart from foreign trade, Heilongjiang's economic growth is also driven by booming investment in the newly-established Harbin-Daqing-Qiqihar Industry Corridor and sound development of private economy.

Covering 58.7 square kilometers in its initial period, the area has attracted 337 projects, 65 percent of which are in the high-tech sector.

Total investment in the area has so far hit 22.4 billion yuan, with 20 projects having injected capital of 300 million yuan each.

The province has launched a start-up campaign, attracting more private capital to invigorate its economy.

Last year, 20 private enterprises saw incremental value exceeding 100 million yuan each. The combined incremental value of the private sector in Heilongjiang this year is expected to hit 270 billion yuan, a rise of 16 percent.

The province is also strongly promoting the establishment of 10 provincial-level private high-tech parks.

Heilongjiang has targeted a total import and export value of $10 billion for private enterprises in 2007.

(China Daily 03/15/2007 page6
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