Moscow Mayor Invites Italians To Broader Cooperation

The development of mutually beneficial trade-economic cooperation between Moscow and Italy was discussed on Thursday by Yuri Luzhkov, mayor of the Russian capital, and Antonio Damato, president of the General Confederation of Italian Industry /Confindustria/. Their meeting took place at Moscow City Hall. Luzhkov invited Italian businessmen and investors to cooperate with Moscow. He stressed that today Moscow is a "powerful economic formation," with 30 percent of Russia's products coming from Moscow. The city's economy accounts for over 30 percent of the nation's budget revenues. There are in Moscow 180,000 small businesses--25 percent of the nation's small business potential. Also, a rather favourable investment climate has taken shape in Moscow, Luzhkov stressed. "The level of profit in Moscow is higher than the average level in Europe", noted the mayor. According to him, the Moscow economy attracts approximately 3 billion dollars in foreign investment annually. He also suggested opening an Italian trading house in Moscow. In his turn, Antonio Damato said that Italy is interested in broadening its presence on the Russian and Moscow markets. In the level of business development, Russia today is lagging behind the majority of European countries, but "we are glad to see Russia's resolve to overcome this barrier", Damato said. He reported that Confindustria has already signed a cooperation agreement with the Russian Industrialists' and Entrepreneurs' Union.

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