Russia's WTO accession to boost trade ties with China

Updated: 2011-11-18 13:40


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MOSCOW - Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will facilitate its economic and trade cooperation with China and increase Russia-China cooperation, Russia's chief WTO negotiator told Xinhua.

Maxim Medvedkov, who is also the head of the Trade Negotiations Department within the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, said Russia and China would expand their economic and trade cooperation under the same WTO rules after Russia joins the trade bloc.

Russia and Georgia signed an agreement in Geneva on Nov 10 under the mediation of Switzerland, removing the main barrier to Russia joining the 153-member trade bloc.

Russia, which has been seeking WTO membership for 18 years, is the only large world economy remaining outside the global trade organization.

Medvedkov said Russia had conducted reforms in various fields in a bid to join the trade bloc.

"We completely changed the system of technical regulations -- to work out and use new and normative technical standards; we adopted a new customs code and changed the customs administration system; we considerably revised laws on veterinary, phyto-sanitary and other measures," the official said.

The reforms, Medvedkov said, brought opportunities for both Russia and China, as the two will trade under the same rules.

"This is of significance. Our exporters and importers will learn these rules because those will be the same for our trade with China and with any other country," Medvedkov said.

Over the past 18 years, Russia had learned much from China, Medvedkov said.

China officially entered the WTO on December 11, 2001 after years of tough negotiations, becoming the 143rd member of the global institution.

"We have came across the same problems China had experienced. We have learned much from our Chinese colleagues, we communicated a lot," Medvedkov said.

He highly valued China's achievements in the decade since it joined the WTO, saying China's accession led to "modernization and economic booms" in the country.

"China's accession to the WTO also positively influenced our bilateral trade, we see it is growing and its structure changes. This is, in the large part, due to China's membership in the WTO," Medvedkov said.

"I think our membership in WTO will also promote the development of our relations with China, this is obvious," he said.