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Agricultural cooperation becomes highlight in China-Russia ties
   2016-11-07 21:17:32    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Ding

Dongning Huaxin's agricultural park in Russia's Primorskiy Kray. [Photo: cr-agri.com]  

Cooperation in the agricultural sector has become one of the most successful examples of ties between China and Russia, as the two comprehensive strategic partners continue to strengthen their bilateral relations.

We hear more now from CRI's Ding Heng.

 

Dongning Huaxin is a conglomerate based in northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang.

The company set up an agricultural joint venture with Russian partners in the southeastern Russian province of Primorskiy Kray in 2004, aiming to create an integrated project which include plantation, farming, processing and warehouse services.

Over the years, the project has secured investment of more than 100 million US dollars.

The money in return has given birth to an agricultural park covering an area of 68-thousand hectares.

Li Demin, chairman of Dongning Huaxin, says the business has gained recognition in Russia.

"As we run the business, we attach great importance to the support and recognition from the Russian side. Over the past 10 years or so, we have not only invested money and provided agricultural training programs for local staff, but have also organized nonprofit social events. We visit war veterans on Russia's annual World War II V-day on May 9th. We have also delivered food to schools and kindergartens in remote places."

Dongning Huaxin's agricultural investment is not an isolated case.

Data from the provincial authorities of Heilongjiang show the province alone has around 120 enterprises that are currently investing in agricultural programs in Russia.

These programs are located in at least 5 provincial regions across the Russian Far East.

Russia is looking to revitalize its agricultural sector as the country learns the lesson of economic sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union over the past few years.

Boris Titov, co-chairman of the Russian-Chinese Committee of Friendship, Peace and Development, says cooperation with China is a fast track to realize the goal, as the agricultural industries of the two countries are complementary.

"The pollution-free agricultural products from Russia have very good sales in China. China is currently one of the world's major food importers. More and more Russian agricultural goods are entering the Chinese market while at the same time, many Chinese companies have come to Russia to invest in our agricultural sector."

At the moment, 30-per cent of Russian exports to China are contributed by agriculture.

A bilateral agricultural investment fund involving 2 billion US dollars was set up last year following a deal between Chinese authorities and Russia's state investment fund.

But Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergey Levin says much more remains to be done.

"First of all, we need to lower the thresholds to make it earlier for agricultural products to enter each others markets. In detail, that would mean meat and grain products from Russia coming to China, and fruit and vegetables from China coming to Russia. Secondly, cooperation on the investment front. Third, cooperation in agricultural technology, equipment as well as personnel training. Fourth, the infrastructure, as it is a precondition to promoting the trade in agricultural goods."

Official data show so far this year, agricultural trade between China and Russia grew by around 7 percent year on year.

For CRI, this is Ding Heng.

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