Italy Includes Yekaterinburg in Investment Program to Support Small Business

Yekaterinburg and three more Russian cities, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Lipetsk, have been included in the investment programme of the government of Italy supposed to support small business. Today, Eduard Rossel, Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region was notified of this by Gianfranco Facco Bonetti, Italy's Ambassador to Russia now visiting the Middle Urals.

According to Governor Rossel's Department of Information, during his meeting with Mr. Bonetti, the two discussed prospects of cooperation between the Sverdlovsk Region and Italy, including partnership in the organisation of exhibitions and fairs and the creation in Yekaterinburg of a transportation logistics terminal.

In 2001, trade turnover between Italian companies and those of the Sverdlovsk Region reached USD 108 million, making Italy the 10th among the region's trade partners. Ten companies partially owned by Italians are registered in the Middle Urals and there are 5 representative offices of Italian firms. The Governor and Ambassador believe this is not quite bad, yet far behind the economic and trade potentials of the parties.

Eduard Rossel said that the Sverdlovsk Region and Italy could cooperate virtually in every industrial area there is. However, the governor named machine building, metallurgy, timber industry, and information-related technologies the first among the equal. He also asked the Ambassador to consider the possibility of opening Italy's Consulate General in Yekaterinburg and establishing regular flights between the city and Genoa.

Gianfranco Facco Bonetti saidall these proposition would be studied thoroughly. In the meantime, a delegation of Italian entrepreneurs will arrive in Yekaterinburg on November 20.

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