Putin proposes China for national currency in bilateral trade

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Moscow, Oct 28 (UNI) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin today proposed to China to gradually switch over to the national currency payments in bilateral trade.

'' We should consider improving the payment system for bilateral trade, including by gradually adopting a broader use of national currencies,'' Putin said at a bilateral economic forum which he jointly attended with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao.

Putin, however, said the task would be tough, adding it was necessary amid the current problems with the dollar-based global economy. The bilateral trade turnover is expected to be 50 billion dollars in 2008.

Putin also invited Chinese investors to join Russian timber projects.

'' We welcome both domestic and foreign investment in Russia's timber sector,'' he said, stressing '' As one of the largest consumers of our products, China could be a source of such investment.'' Jiabao described strengthening bilateral relations as "strategic," saying '' Mutual investment by Russia and China has already exceeded two billion dollars, this is a very good index.'' He praised the success of numerous projects, including additional construction of China's Tianwan nuclear power plant and the opening of a joint pharmaceuticals centre in Moscow.

A large number of Russian companies, including state-run oil producer Rosneft and aluminum champion RusAl, are seeking to develop investment projects in China, Jiabao said.

He added that the bilateral cooperation in the helicopter industry, mechanical engineering, energy sector, timber production and innovation sector was also showing signs of progress.

'' China is a staunch supporter of Russia's accession to the WTO, but is categorically against politicising the issue,'' Jiabao maintained.

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