Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg and China’s Guangzhou have signed a protocol on friendly exchanges and cooperation, the press service of the St. Petersburg governor reported on Sunday.
The two mayors, Georgy Poltavchenko of St. Petersburg and Chen Jianhua of Guangzhou, met on Sunday to discuss possibilities and prospects for the participation of Chinese companies in the implementation of such major infrastructure projects in St. Petersburg as the construction of a congress and exhibition centre, an entertainment park, an industrial park of the light industry and a technology park of innovation systems in the area of urban economy.
The industrial park of the light industry will be formed in St. Petersburg’s Nevsky district, for which ends the city authorities have allocated a land plot to the Union of Manufacturers of Sewn Products. It is planned to organize the production of sewn products and accessories. However the projected production volume and dates when the production would start have not yet been determined – documents related to this park are only being drafted.
Guangzhou is known as a biggest light industry centre, manufacturing silk, cotton and synthetic fibre products. The city is a venue of the Canton Fair, the world third biggest fair in terms of the volume of deals. The St. Petersburg authorities believe this experience will be useful for the implementation of the Chinese congress and exhibition investment project and others.
Previously, when St. Petersburg’s investment committee chairwoman Irina Bryuk visited Guangzhou, she discussed these projects. Apart from that, they were considered at a meeting between the city governor and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in October 2013. Poltavchenko then asked the prime minister to instruct the Russian Direct Investment Fund to get involved in these projects.
“China has gained the leader position in terms of economic cooperation,” Medvedev said back then. “Investment cooperation to a certain extent is more important than trade and economic cooperation. And I have issued relevant instructions to our direct investment fund.”
Among other promising cooperation areas the St. Petersburg governor singled out efforts to establish contacts between big companies in China and St. Petersburg. He also stressed the necessity to develop relations in the areas of education and culture.
At his meeting with Chen Jianhua, Poltavchenko suggested a special working group be set up from among St. Petersburg and Guangzhou government officials who would address issue of promoting closer cooperation and oversee the implementation of agreements.
Currently, St. Petersburg has partner relation with another Chinese city, Shanghai. Twin city relations between St. Petersburg and Shanghai were established as far back as 1959. Twin city relations with China’s Chengdu were established in 1998, and with Qingdao – in 2007.
In the first quarter of 2013, China was St. Petersburg’s biggest trade partner, accounting for 15.4 percent of its overall trade turnover.