The volume of direct rail freight moving between Russia and China could increase anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent in the next 10 years, Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin said in a recent speech to the Russian-Chinese Economic Forum in Moscow.
Yakunin said that railway transport accounts for a substantial share of external trade freight between Russia and China. During the first 10 months of 2010, the volume of rail freight between the countries increased by 33 percent to reach 53 million tons.
The vast majority (93.9 percent) of cargo comprises Russian oil, timber, chemical and mineral fertilizer exports, but in 2010, with the greater volume of Chinese machine and technical goods deliveries, imports also started to gradually increase.
In line with the goals set by the Russian government, Russian Railways is developing rail infrastructure in regions of Siberia and Russia's Far East. During last year alone, more than 12bn rubles ($381m) were spent on developing rail infrastructure in the Far East regions, and this year, the company plans to invest another 13 billion rubles.
During 2010, the volume of rail freight in heavy goods containers between Russia and China is expected to increase considerably (by around 50 percent), along with transit freight between China and EU states. As part of efforts to develop cooperation in rail container freight, Russian Railways has reached agreements with Chinese and German partners on creating a joint venture for container transport. The Russian Railways subsidiary TransContainer will represent Russia in the joint venture.
Under the program for cooperation between regions of Russia's Far East and East Siberia and China's northwest provinces up to 2018, Russian Railways will be taking part in a project to create a new border crossing between Russia and China.
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Source: Russian Railways
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