President Putin to Take Part in Meeting of Russian and French Businessmen in Paris

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is currently on an official visit to France, will give a speech at 19:00 (Moscow time) this evening at a meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Association of French Businessmen (MEDEF) in Paris. As the press office of the Russian union announced today, more than 300 Russian and French businessmen will be participating at the meeting. The press office added that businessmen from both countries are currently discussing prospects for further business cooperation.

The Russian delegation includes Minister of Industry, Science and Technology Ilya Klebanov, Chairman of Sistema Board of Directors Vladimir Yevtushenkov, Head of Severstal-group Alexei Mordashov and Heads of Russian Aluminium and Interrossa Oleg Deripaska and Vladimir Potanin. The French side includes representatives of more than 300 companies from different sectors of the economy including the leading banks BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Rothschild Conseil International, Societe Generale as well as companies TotalFinaElf (oil and gas industry), ALSTOM (energy, transport), Bull (information agency), Coface and Unistrat (insurance), Groupe Danone (food industry), Renault (car industry), Schneider Electric (machinery), Sodexho Alliance (restaurant business), Pierre Cardin, Remy Cointreau (alcohol).

This meeting of business circles comes as a result of closer ties between Russian businesses and the Association of French Businessmen, one of the most influential business associations in the world. The two previous meetings between the leading Russian and French business circles took place in Moscow on April 5 and June 18 2002. At these meetings they discussed prospects for Russian-French business including the aviation-space industry, the fuel and energy sector, the car industry, construction and the food industry.

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