Senior Chinese and Russian officials have agreed to scale up bilateral trade and economic cooperation. Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov held talks in Beijing on Monday morning. Zhang said conditions have ripened for carrying out large-scale economic cooperation between China and Russia. “The Chinese side is ready to increase investment in Russia by carrying out a number of large-scale cooperative projects of strategic importance,” Zhang said. He called for the two sides to open up wider areas, take bigger steps and reach greater depth in bilateral joint work so as to realize the goals set by the heads of state of the two countries. During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia last month, the two sides agreed to boost annual trade volume to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015 and to 200 billion U.S. dollars by 2020. Two-way trade volume stood at 88 billion U.S. dollars in 2012. By the end of 2012, Chinese companies had invested a total of 4.4 billion U.S. dollars in Russia. Shuvalov said Russia is ready to expand cooperation with China in the areas of energy, finance, industrial modernization and infrastructure. Zhang expressed the hope that Russia will continue to improve its investment environment so as to lift the confidence of Chinese companies to invest in the country. Shuvalov said Russia holds an open attitude toward Chinese investment. He welcomed Chinese companies to invest in Russia, saying his country is working on creating a quality environment for foreign investors. After the talks, Zhang and Shuvalov met with a group of Chinese and Russian entrepreneurs in Beijing. Shuvalov said Russia is a huge market for investment and is very open to a greater number of Chinese companies investing there.