"Russia and China need to diversify the structure of bilateral trade," Zhukov said at a meeting with Chinese entrepreneurs.
Zhukov said that despite a considerable growth in trade turnover, Russian exports to China were represented mainly by raw materials, including timber, metals, ores, fertilizers and cellulose, which all together accounted for some 90% of Russian exports this year.
"To further increase the volume of our economic-trade ties, we need to develop such forms of cooperation as production cooperation, mutual investment [and] joint mastering of advanced technologies," the deputy prime minister said.
Zhukov's Chinese counterpart Wu Yi said trade turnover so far this year had almost reached $21 billion - the figure for all of 2004.
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New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.