On April 29, 2012, Vice Premier Li Keqiang held a discussion session with the local leaders of Russia' Volga Federal District and the local leaders from Chinese municipalities and provinces in Kazan, capital of the Republic of Tatarstan of Russia. They had an in-depth exchange of views on strengthening local and regional cooperation between China and Russia. Mikhail Babich, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Volga Federal District, chaired the session.
Li said that during his visit to Russia, he reached important consensus with Russian leaders on deepening Sino-Russian relations and strengthening pragmatic cooperation in various fields. To effectively implement the 10-year plan for the development of China-Russia relations and uplift the comprehensive China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership to a new level, the two sides need to mobilize the enthusiasms both at the central and local levels and seek for cooperation and development in the process of opening up.
Li said that the Volga Federal District enjoys a superior geographical advantage and has a solid industrial foundation and well-developed scientific research capabilities. The vitality, creativity and potentials of the district provide favorable conditions for deepening China-Russia local and regional cooperation.
Li put forward a three-point proposal on further expanding China-Russia local and regional cooperation: first, to intensify efforts to promote local and regional cooperation from the national level. China is implementing the strategy of expanding domestic demands, accelerating the development and revitalization of the central, western and northeastern regions, and strengthening the westward opening. Russia is also implementing the national revitalization plan and the regional development strategy. The two sides should leverage the common elements in the respective development strategies and enrich the contents of local and regional cooperation; second, to highlight key areas of cooperation. The two sides should identify the weak links in bilateral cooperation and increase mutual investment and innovation cooperation in the course of expanding trade scale. China will encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in Russia and encourage research institutions and institutions of higher learning to participate in such cooperation so as to uplift the level of cooperation; third, to improve the cooperation mechanism. The two sides should further enhance the friendly ties between Chinese provinces and municipalities and the Russian federal states and districts, enhance people-to-people exchanges and deepen the understanding between the two peoples so that there is a bridge for the bilateral cooperation and the pragmatic cooperation in trade, investment, innovation and other fields can move forward on a solid footing.
Mikhail Babich said that Russia-China economic and trade relations have never been more important. Both sides need to thoroughly implement the consensus reached by leaders of both countries and actively promote the local and regional exchanges between Russia and China. Both sides need to strengthen cooperation in investment, innovation and other related fields so as to contribute to the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between Russia and China.
The leaders from Jilin, Heilongjiang, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Shenzhen and other provinces and municipalities of China and the leaders from the Republic of Tatarstan, Nizhny Novgorod, Penza, Saratov, Ulyanovsk, Kazan, Samara and other states and cities of Volga Federal District respectively introduced the cooperation between the two sides and made specific recommendations on further expanding cooperation in trade, investment, innovation, high-tech, culture and other areas. They said that they would follow the instructions of the leaders, consolidate the existing achievements in local and regional cooperation and actively create a new landscape for the local and regional cooperation between the two countries based on their respective advantages.
Before the discussion session, Li Keqiang met with Mikhail Babich.