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Siberia at apex of historic new agreements between Russia and China

By The Siberian Times reporter
22 October 2013

More than 20 new deals on energy, investment and education are inked in Beijing.

'I believe that $100 billion and $200 billion are quite achievable figures even in the conditions of rather difficult economic environment,' said Medvedev who spoke of 'a higher and a brand new level of co-operation'. Picture: Dmitry Medvedev's Facebook

The practical steps towards closer co-operation came at a meeting of prime ministers Li Keqiang and Dmitry Medvedev which predicted joint trade will top $100 billion by 2015. Russia will supply an additional 10 million tons of crude oil to China each year over the next 10 years, the Beijing session confirmed. 

'This meeting is an important platform for pushing forward strategic and pragmatic cooperation', said Li at the first such session since the new Chinese government was formed in March. 'I believe that $100 billion and $200 billion are quite achievable figures even in the conditions of rather difficult economic environment,' said Medvedev who spoke of 'a higher and a brand new level of co-operation'.

Among other agreements is a joint-venture oil facility in the port of Tianjin, to be capable of refining 16 million tons of crude oil a year, according to the state media. Settled, too, is an agreement between Russian giant NOVATEK and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) on the purchase and sale of liquefied natural gas (LNG) between JSC Yamal-LNG in Siberia and PetroChina International. The project involves the development of the South-Tambeyskoye gas field in a 15 year deal.

'The project implementation involves the creation of transport infrastructure, including a seaport and an airport, near the Sabetta village (northeast of the Yamal Peninsula). The cost of the project is estimated at $20 billion, taking into account the development of the South-Tambeyskoye field,' reported ITAR-TASS.

'Today we have discussed issues of cooperation in the oil and gas sphere. I hope that all the documents that have been signed today will be executed, and the agreements we are trying to reach, in particular, gas agreements, will very soon take shape in documents,' said Medvedev. 

More than 20 new deals on energy, investment and education are inked in Beijing .

'Over the eight year period ending in 2012, direct foreign investment by Chinese companies in Russia increased 40 times to reach 4.9 billion U.S. dollars'. Picture: Dmitry Medvedev's Facebook

Rosneft chief Igor Sechin confirmed agreement between his company and Sinopec on oil supplies. 

'We signed the major terms that should precede a contract with Sinopec on the export of 10 million tonnes of oil in the eastern and western direction,' he said. 

Last week CNPC signed an agreement with Rosneft to take a rare equity stake in East Siberian oil and gas deposits. A pricing formula has been agreed for Gazprom's multi-billion dollar natural gas supply deal from Siberia, after a decade of negotiations, it was confirmed. Huaneng Group, China's top electricity producer, signed a preliminary deal with the Russian mining and energy giant En+ Group - owned by Oleg Deripaska - to develop power and coal projects in Russia.

The pact is seen as a plank in deepening energy cooperation between the two countries. The aim is to meet Siberian needs and to supply China. 

Medvedev told an online chat on his Chinese trip that the two countries 'have already become partners in the Russian Far East'.

The leaders pledged to boost youth exchanges over the next two years, and to boost educational opportunities, with Medvedev mentioning Vladivostok's Far Eastern Federal University, among others, as institutions that could be attractive to Chinese students.  

'Chinese companies had begun developing the Russian Far East and both sides had many joint projects,' Medvedev was quoted saying by Xinhua news agency.Large-sized Chinese companies mainly invest in such sectors as energy, chemicals and mining, while medium- and small-sized companies largely did business in agriculture and other sectors, he said.

Medvedev promised Russia would protect all foreign investors, including those from China. 

More than 20 new deals on energy, investment and education are inked in Beijing .

Settled is an agreement between Russian giant NOVATEK and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) on the purchase and sale of liquefied natural gas (LNG) between JSC Yamal-LNG in Siberia and PetroChina International. Picture: Dmitry Medvedev's Facebook

'We won't let foreign investors feel wronged. Otherwise, no one will come to the country to invest. We wouldn't like to see such things happening', Medvedev said. Over the eight year period ending in 2012, direct foreign investment by Chinese companies in Russia increased 40 times to reach 4.9 billion U.S. dollars. In the first seven months of this year, the figure rose by another 250 million U.S. dollars, according to Tang Hua, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planning body.

Medvedev said that Russia was looking at China for lessons in battling corruption. 

'Corruption is a great, endemic problem of our country and we need to make great efforts to improve the situation,' Medvedev said. 'Russia is carefully studying China's experience in this sphere,' he said.

'You have experience based on the Chinese traditions and this is an interesting experience. We have to admit that a range of measures you are taking is very tough and in our legislation such measures are inadmissible. But I think that such measures yield certain results'.

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