On October 14, speaking at a meeting with co-chairs of the Council for Interregional Cooperation between Russia and China in the Volga-Yangtze format via videoconferencing, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov said that Tatarstan has established close cooperation with many Chinese provinces, including in the Volga-Yangtze format.
The meeting was chaired Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Volga Federal District Igor Komarov and Member of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Wang Yong.
Speaking at the meeting, Minnikhanov thanked the Russian and Chinese leaders for their attention to the issues of creating favorable conditions for the development of interregional cooperation as part of rapidly evolving Russian-Chinese relations.
Tatarstan President noted that friendship and mutual support are especially relevant and important in today's difficult time of the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, in April, Tatneft Oil Company delivered medical masks, boxes and high-performance equipment for mask production from China to the republic. Also, medical ventilators were supplied free of charge. Haier Company provided 50 vehicles to the hospitals of the republic. Protective masks and suits were sent to Tatarstan from Szechuan province. Beside, Chinese and Tatarstan doctors were exchanging experience in combating coronavirus.
Minnikhanov emphasized that Tatarstan actively cooperates with partners from China. Contacts have become especially intense recently. Mutual visits of official and business delegations are being organized. Tatarstan has established business ties with many Chinese provinces and signed cooperation agreements, including four agreements with the provinces of the Volga-Yangtze format: Hunan, Szechuan, Anhui and Chongqing. Tatarstan's trade and economic mission operates in Beijing, and the General Consulate of China operates in Kazan.
By the end of last year, the trade turnover amounted to 564 million US dollars. A number of joint economic projects underway in Tatarstan with such large Chinese companies as Haier, Weichai, Huawei, Didi, and other partners.
As for cooperation with the regions of the Upper and Middle reaches of the Yangtze River, one can highlight specific projects and areas in addition to regular mutual visits and meetings of delegations. Minnikhanov informed the meeting that Alabuga Special Economic Zone interacts with Sichuan Golden Elephant, the Chinese company engaged in manufacturing chemical products and mineral fertilizers. Interaction has been established with Szechuan in the field of organizing internships for state and municipal employees. A number of agreements have been signed with the provincial municipalities, and the cities of Kazan and Сheng-tu are twin cities. At the same time, according to Tatarstan President, there are huge untapped opportunities for expanding trade, economic and investment cooperation with the Chinese provinces of the Upper and Middle reaches of the Yangtze River.
Besides, work is underway to expand cooperation in the field of culture, education, science, sports and youth exchanges. About 1.7 thousand Chinese students are studying in Kazan universities at the moment. A number of Tatarstan universities are members of the Volga-Yangtze Association of Universities.
Tatarstan President added that the republic attaches great importance to interaction in the field of tourism, as well as to more active development of the Europe - Western China transport corridor, which will also pass through Tatarstan.