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    RUSSIA'S BLAGOVESHCHENSK AND CHINA'S HEIHE: THE CORE OF FUTURE FREE TRADE ZONE

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    BEIJING, January 6, 2003. (RIA Novosti) -- The city authorities of Heihe, China, which borders on Blagoveshchensk, the administrative centre of the Amur Region located on the northern, Russia, bank of Amur River, plans to create a Chinese-Russian free trade zone, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

    According to the agency, the zone will stand on 30 square kilometres ad the Heihe administration plans to build an international airport and a bridge to Blagoveshchensk across the Amur in order to expand bilateral border trade.

    Heihe has close trade ties with the Russian Far East and is a major tourist attraction for Russian business tourism, says Xinhua. The agency reports that two new industrial districts, to be built in the city in 2004, will process basic raw materials and produce export commodities.

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