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28 july

Chinese border provinces focus on cooperation with Russia

To live like good neighbours. China's north-eastern regions seek to overcome the economic slowdown by boosting cooperation with Russia. The largest project of Jilin manufacturers is localisation of high-speed train production. Assembly lines are planned in the Moscow Region or Urals. Jilin particularly focuses on interaction with its northern neighbour. Jilin's growth rate in Q1 was the country's lowest (6.2%). To drive growth they are launching more Russia-oriented projects in such fields as trade, investments and joint production. In the nearest five years, Jilin expects to raise its investments in Russia 1.5-fold. Jilin is going to invest USD3 bn in joint projects in Russia by 2020. “Annual growth of investments in Russia is about 10%”, informed Ping Jing, representative of Jilin Administration for Industry and Commerce. According to him, priority investments are timber, agriculture and food industry. Trade with the neighbouring country will enhance concurrently: sales turnover by 2020 will triple against 2015 to exceed USD2 bn. Annual sales turnover growth will reach 17%. As to organising joint production in Russia, currently the largest project of Jilin manufacturers is localisation of high-speed train production. Assembly lines are planned in the Moscow Region or Urals; the location will be finally defined this summer, as informed Ma ChunSheng, Head of International Cooperation at Changchun Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd., Chinese major train manufacturer, who has already designed new trains for its Russian partners. To establish production, a joint venture will be set up with a 50% Russian interest. The key task of the new production entity is to design and build trains for Moscow-Kazan HSR. The launch of the first train is scheduled for mid-2018. High-speed trains can accelerate up to 360 km/h and run even at extremely cold temperatures up to 50oC. The use of the trains will reduce the travel time between Moscow and Kazan from 11 to 3.5 hours. Russia will need 200 high-speed trains in the nearest 5-10 years. In April China confirmed the Russian HSR financing framework. China will extend a RUB400 bn credit facility (by China Development Bank), and invest RUB52 bn in the capital of the Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod section and USD1 bn in the Nizhny Novgorod-Kazan section. According to Ma ChunSheng's estimates, Russia will need 200 high-speed trains in the nearest 5-10 years. “This is not much, so we do not expect high profits. We work for a long-term perspective”, underlined Ma ChunSheng. Remember that in the future Moscow-Kazan HSR will expectedly run further to the East and cross Kazakhstan to reach Beijing. Moscow-Beijing high-speed line will be 7,000 km long. The parties plan another Russian-Chinese HSR to link Jilin with Vladivostok and further with Khabarovsk. Phase 1 of the project seeks to lay a high-speed railway line from Hunchun on the Russian border to Russian border port Zarubino. Total length of the line will equal 322 km with the estimated construction cost of CNY60 bn or about USD9.5 bn. China is ready to complete the project in 5-6 years. However, many have doubted its feasibility so far: Can the border regions fully use the line's capacity? These concerns were partially resolved on May 15 when a high-speed railway linked Hunchun railway terminal with Jinan, the administrative centre of the eastern province Shandong, which has HSR communication with such China's large economic centres as Shanghai and Nanjing. China has confirmed the Russian HSR financing framework. China will extend a RUB400 bn credit facility. Russian rolling stock fleet will be supplied both by Jilin car builders and automobile groups as well. The first Chinese automobile factory built with the assistance of USSR specialists in 1953 will return to the home country of its creators in 2015: It said it can supply a large number of trucks to the Russian market. And it really has the potential: Every five minutes a new truck rolls off the factory's production line. <…> Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta

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