Over USD 300 Billion Taken out of Russia Remains in Off-shore Banks

While meeting today in Moscow with a delegation from the German Land of Bavaria, Evgeny Primakov, President of Russia's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said over USD 300 billion that had been taken out of Russia remained in off-shore banks. He also said, at least USD 50 billion Russia's citizens kept in piggybanks without investing anywhere, which was the evidence of the population's continuing mistrust for Russia's banking system and the state as a whole.

Noted at the meeting was the continued successful trade between Russia and Bavaria. Otto Wiesheu, Bavarian Minister of Economy, Transportation, and Technologies, said about 700 Bavarian companies were present in Russia on their own or cooperating with Russian partners.

Trade turnover between Russia and Bavaria grew from DEM 3.6 billion in 1999 to DEM 9.1 billion in 2001. Mr. Wiesheu believes this is the evidence of the growing trust on the part of Bavarian entrepreneurs for Russia's economy and the result of Russia's successful economic reforms over the past several years.