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Russia, China agree to establish $1bn industrial investment fund

The Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF) has announced an agreement with China’s Chengtong Holdings Group to establish a joint $1-billion industrial investment fund amid growing trade ties between the two economic powers.

The RCIF, which is a joint venture between Russian Direct Investment Fund and China Investment Corp., unveiled the deal on Friday during a state visit to China by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Major investments in various sectors are in the offing during the visit with a focus on the development of industrial, transport and tourism infrastructure in Russia.

Putin announced during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing that trade between the two countries had grown by 31 percent this year and that it was projected to reach the $100 billion target.

“Russia remains the largest supplier of fuel to the Chinese market. Last year, we supplied more than 50 million tons of oil. By April, this number increased by another 26 percent,” said the Russian president, noting that energy remains the key sector of cooperation between the two countries.

According to Putin, work on the construction of the Eastern Route pipeline from Russia to China is continuing as planned, and companies from both nations are taking part in the project at Russia’s $27 billion LNG plant in Yamal.

He further pointed to the growing ties between Beijing and Moscow in the nuclear energy sector, saying, “Russia and China have just signed an agreement on the construction of another two units and the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China by Rosatom. Russia will also build a brand-new nuclear power site in China.”

The Russian president also underlined the benefits to China of his country’s expertise in a demo fast-neutron reactor that is due to be constructed in the country.

Fast neutron reactors can reduce the total radio toxicity of nuclear waste, and dramatically reduce the waste’s lifetime.

“We don’t have this type of cooperation with any other country. We are talking about sensitive and unique technologies developed by Russian scientists,” Putin emphasized.

For his part, Xi said a number of contracts had already been signed during Putin’s visit.

Xi added, “China is Russia’s largest trading partner. We facilitate projects in investments, energy, transportation infrastructure, aerospace and aircraft manufacturing.”