MOSCOW, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Russia will bring the financial cooperation between the two countries to a new height, a Russian banker says.
Financial cooperation constitutes a crucial part of bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, Alexander Ivanov, deputy head of the Vnesheconombank (VEB), told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"The VEB, together with its Chinese partners, is ready to consider joint projects on infrastructure development. It is necessary to define strategic goals of inter-bank partnership for the upcoming years based on current needs and market environment," Ivanov said.
He said the VEB, Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs, had long been cooperating with Chinese financial institutions under bilateral and multilateral frameworks such as BRICS (namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
"We hold forums, conduct cross-training of personnel and work within BRICS or SCO's inter-bank union," Ivanov said.
The VEB and China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China signed agreements on financing projects for over 2.3 billion U.S. dollars, the banker said.
Last June, Chinese Investment Corporation and Russian Direct Investment Fund established a 4-billion-dollar Russia-China Investment Fund.
"This fund invests into infrastructural projects and contributes a lot to job creation both in Russia and China," he said.
Russia was ready to further economic ties between the two biggest neighbors. "We expect the mutually beneficial long-term cooperation with Chinese counterparts in financial industry would be confirmed during President Xi's visit," Ivanov said.
Speaking of the upcoming BRICS summit in South Africa's Durban on March 26-27, Ivanov said China's participation "is mutually beneficial and thus deserves a wide recognition."
He said the BRICS Development Bank, probably to be established at the summit, would be an important tool to serve the flows of finance and goods between the BRICS countries.
"We believe the bank will be viable, because one of its aims is to ease accounting operations in national currencies instead of operations in the U.S. dollar and the euro," Ivanov said.
He added that BRICS could help create "a powerful union of new global financial system with Russia and China being an irreplaceable part of it."