MOSCOW — Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng met Friday with Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Trade Minister Andrey Slepnev, vowing to enhance cooperation between China and the bloc.
Gao said that visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have reached broad consensus on the docking of China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and the Eurasian economic integration and that China agreed to launch talks with the EAEU on an economic and trade cooperation deal.
The consensus is a strategic decision with farsightedness, Gao said, adding that it is bound to open up a new chapter of cooperation between China and the EAEU.
He noted that negotiating the economic and trade cooperation deal is in the interests of the EAEU members, as China is a major trading partner of these nations.
China, the minister said, is ready to introduce institutional arrangements to facilitate trade with the EAEU and finally to build a free trade zone with it.
Gao added that the Chinese side will positively push forward the negotiation process and implement the strategic consensus reached by the leaders of both countries.
For his part, Slepnev said that China is one of the most important economies with a sound development, stressing the necessity of cooperation with China in the Eurasian economic integration.
Slepnev also expected that the EAEU could integrate into the Asia-Pacific economic circle as soon as possible by working together with China.
The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council has decided to negotiate the deal with China, which will promote the docking of China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and the Eurasian economic integration, he added.
Slepnev said that the EAEU will make great efforts to facilitate trade with China and push forward economic cooperation in various fields in a bid to lay a solid foundation for the establishment of a free trade zone with China.
The two sides agreed to form work groups as soon as possible to launch the negotiation process on the deal, Slepnev said.
After their talks, Gao and Slepnev signed a joint declaration to start the economic and trade cooperation deal between China and the EAEU.