Vladimir Putin and the President of China Xi Jinping met with participants of the Second Russian-Chinese Energy Business Forum on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,
I am delighted to welcome you. Allow me to remind you that we agreed to establish this forum during my state visit to Beijing last June. The first meeting was held in October 2018 in Beijing. And now we can see that this forum is gaining momentum.
The second Forum has been timed to coincide with Mr Xi Jinping’s state visit to Russia. And we are pleased that it has brought together representatives of more than 100 leading energy companies and financial institutions from two countries operating in this sector. The discussions are also attended by politicians and experts, which is important in terms of developing comprehensive solutions.
The business forum’s rich programme offers an opportunity to substantively discuss the prospects for expanding bilateral cooperation in this most important area, to coordinate plans for the development of cooperation in digital technology and an innovative upgrade of the fuel and energy sector.
I would like to emphasise, though you know this anyway, that energy is one of the key, most dynamically developing areas of Russian-Chinese cooperation. My colleague and friend Xi Jinping and I have given a lot of attention to issues of energy cooperation and support for joint initiatives and projects.
The most important projects are the development of deposits in Eastern Siberia by Rosneft with the participation of our Chinese partners and the construction of the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean pipeline system with a branch to Daqing.
In addition, Gazprom is successfully carrying out the Power of Siberia [Sila Sibiri] project with its Chinese partners, while Novatek has attracted investors from China to join the Yamal LNG project.
Russia is one of China’s biggest energy suppliers. Russian oil exports exceeded 67 million tonnes last year. Talks are underway on distributing natural gas from the Russian Far East along the so-called western route. The demand for Russian coal and electricity is consistently high in China. As you may know, the eastern corridor project is already underway, while the Power of Siberia project is under construction and even ahead of schedule.
Bilateral cooperation in the nuclear power industry is making steady progress, as my colleagues mentioned. Four energy units at the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant have been built in China with Russian participation. There are also agreements on the construction of several nuclear reactor units of Russian design, and on increasing scientific research cooperation, which is no less important.
We in Russia highly value the willingness of Chinese businesses to work with us and we are interested in the expanded presence of Chinese companies in the Russian market. To create the most comfortable conditions for Chinese and other foreign investors in Russia, we continue improving the business climate and upgrading legislative and law enforcement practices by removing excessive bureaucratic barriers.
We presume that anyone involved in foreign economic activity will benefit from joint business projects. These projects create demand for investment, technology, talent and expertise, and open up new markets and new opportunities. Therefore, we will continue creating a special environment, including special economic zones that allow investors to save up to 30 percent in capital expenditures based on a number of benefits in many Russian regions, including the regions bordering on China.
Extensive incentives are granted to investors in the priority development areas in the Russian Far East. To date, over 130 new companies have opened there and 13,000 new and modern jobs have been created. This is an indicator of the results of our cooperation. At the same time, the total investment, excluding investment from the budget, has exceeded $3.5 billion.
Foreign investors can also qualify for major incentives through special investment contracts that guarantee steady taxation terms.
I consider regular sessions of the Russian-Chinese Energy Forum to be a productive and important asset for promoting bilateral partnership, and not just in the energy sector, but other sectors of the economy as well. After all, the energy industry is serviced by many related industries. The next forum, as was already mentioned, will be held in China in 2020. President Xi Jinping and I will certainly support any constructive proposals.
I would like to thank you for your cooperation.
President of the People’s Republic of China Xi JinpingXi Jinping (retranslated): Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, friends,
I am very pleased to see you in the picturesque city of St Petersburg. First of all, I would like to sincerely congratulate you on the successful opening of the Second Chinese-Russian Energy Business Forum. China and Russia are partners in comprehensive strategic interaction. The continuous deepening of multifaceted cooperation in recent years has significantly promoted the overall development and prosperity of the two states.
Energy is one of the most significant, productive and extensive components of bilateral cooperation. Last year, energy trade between China and Russia exceeded $40 billion and thus represented a significant portion of the all-time high volume of trade that totaled $100 billion. Such strategically important projects as the eastern section of the Yamal SPG gas pipeline are being successfully implemented.
The close interaction of the two sides plays a positive role in maintaining an equal, fair, rational and civilised international energy order.
Energy is an important resource for sustainable socio-economic development, helping to satisfy people's desire for a good life. Strengthening and deepening energy cooperation is a common interest of China and Russia. In this regard, I would like to make the following four proposals.
The first is to support the role of companies as parties to cooperation and adhere to commercial principles when searching for opportunities and cooperation. Leading energy companies from China and Russia are represented at this forum. I hope that companies on both sides, guided by mutual benefit and commercial viability, will step up consultations and contacts to find the right approaches, cooperation, interested partners and the best joint projects.
It is important to strengthen mutual support and assistance in the financial, insurance and energy spheres so that financial and insurance institutions become more deeply involved in the full cycle of energy projects, and can update their models of financial and insurance support to establish solid financial support for energy cooperation between our countries.
The second proposal is to tap the potential for improving the quality and level of cooperation in the energy sector. It is important to launch a series of model projects in power generating and new energy sources, to deepen cooperation on technical standardisation in the context of mutual recognition and coordination of energy standards. It is necessary to intensify scientific and technological innovations as a stimulating factor and driving force in energy cooperation development, to promote the in-depth integration of information technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence and the internet with the energy industry. Research cooperation should be strengthened in the energy sector, to jointly achieve the breakthrough development of current experience, the production of state-of-the-art equipment, and other advanced areas. We need to enhance the exchange of experience, capacity building and contacts between think tanks to enrich and strengthen the two countries’ soft power in the field of energy.
The third. We need to promote the integration of interests, and increase comprehensive cooperation in exploration, production, processing and marketing. Our bilateral energy cooperation is long-standing, comprehensive and strategic, and is impossible without long-term planning based on current circumstances.
In this regard, the two countries’ government bodies and companies should have confidence in the future of our cooperation in this area, should constantly complement each other with their own advantages, each working toward mutual benefit, not just in energy trade or individual projects. It is important to expand and increase collaboration for the sake of building a supportive and interconnected cooperation architecture.
The fourth proposal is to increase cooperation in global energy management, and to promote its sustainable development.
In a situation where the modern-day world is facing severe challenges such as geopolitical issues, environmental pollution and climate change, there is a need to achieve the goal of providing everyone with access to sustainable energy sources. We have a long and difficult path ahead to ensure energy security and promote the transformation of the energy system.
As global energy powers, China and Russia need to jointly defend a multilateral approach, vigorously develop multilateral cooperation, play a constructive role in the global energy management system and make a greater contribution to global energy development.
Mr President Putin, ladies and gentlemen, friends,
Chinese-Russian energy cooperation has huge scope and great potential. The two governments are a reliable source of support for cooperation among businesses. Both President Putin and I are ready to direct and promote the two governments’ work to create a favourable business environment for expanding cooperation among our business communities and give them comprehensive political support.
I am confident that the development of Chinese-Russian relations and our comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era is an important guarantee that Chinese and Russian business leaders will be able to raise bilateral cooperation to new heights in the spirit of sincerity and solidarity for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries.