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DAQING (China), June 29 /ITAR-TASS/. The government of Daqing in eastern China hopes for developing cooperation with neighboring Russia to diversify the local economy away from raw materials extraction, Daqing Mayor Xia Lihua said in an exclusive interview with ITAR-TASS on Sunday.
“We hold the first place among the country’s 118 raw material cities in terms of hydrocarbon production. Thanks to this, we have 88% fulfilled Beijing’s task to build a Xiaokang moderately prosperous society. Despite this result, crude oil reserves in the region are gradually coming to an end,” Lihua said.
The Daqing mayor was interviewed at the 7th forum of trade and economic cooperation between northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, Xianggang, Aomin, Taiwan and Russian regions, which had opened in the city.
The forum is being attended by about 330 companies. Russia is represented by 40 companies from the Far Eastern cities of Angarsk and Krasnoyarsk and the northeastern city of Yakutsk, as well as from the Irkutsk Region in East Siberia and the Khabarovsk Region in the Russian Far East.
“We annually extract 40 million tons of crude oil. This output can be maintained until 2020, after which the volume of oil extraction will start to contract gradually. In this situation, we intend to develop cooperation with Russia in oil refining as we have sufficient capacities for this and we’re ready to build housing, if necessary,” the mayor said.
The transport sector is another promising area of cooperation, the mayor said.
“We’re ready to consider programs of cooperation in transport corridors to Russia. We expect this cooperation to help us develop trade and attract investors to our special economic zone,” the mayor said.
The Daqing mayor also stressed the importance of investment projects offered to Russian companies. “Today we have offered Russian companies 130 investment projects in the oil industry, agriculture, alternative energy sources, machine-building, pharmaceuticals and tourism,” the mayor said.
The Daqing mayor said the city of Daqing, which was among China’s top three environmentally friendly cities, was ready to “work with Russian colleagues in all areas.