China and Russia addressed fast-growing bilateral trade and investment, and signed a loan agreement after broad talks between the two countries’ presidents, the Wall Street Journal reported. "Deeper, practical cooperation has an especially important significance in overcoming the difficulties that face our countries," said President Hu Jintao during his state visit to Russia. During the meetings, Export-Import Bank of China and the Russian Bank of Foreign Trade signed a US$700 million framework loan agreement. In 2009 alone, Russia and China have signed record energy deals valued in excess of US$100 billion, which has led to China overtaking Germany and the Netherlands as Russia’s biggest trading partner. Both Hu and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev expressed a desire for a greater role for emerging economies on the global financial stage and an increased use of national currencies in bilateral trade.