Germany's Top Companies Willing To Modernize Russian Economy

During the meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German entrepreneurs in Yekaterinburg, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev offered the Germans to activate their participation in the modernization of Russian enterprises, including non-strategic companies. The volume of German investments in the economy of the Russian Federation will reach about $20 billion as of the end of March of 2010.

German experts optimistically believed prior to the economic crisis that Russia would leave China behind to become the most important partner for the German export. However, the crisis undermined the prognosis, and the commodity circulation between Russia and Germany considerably dropped.

"As for the increase of the commodity circulation between Germany and Russia, many of those who currently stay in Yekaterinburg are very optimistic about it. The commodity circulation has been growing, although we will most likely reach the record level of the year 2008 in two or three years," DW quoted Gernot Erler a German politician representing Social Democrats.

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The German delegation in Yekaterinburg consists of officials representing large enterprises of the nation, which may mean that the economic cooperation between the two countries will develop faster in the nearest future.

"I hope that German structures will take part in the modernization of companies which they can be interested in, but not limited to my decision about the reduction of the number of strategic enterprises," Medvedev said addressing the members of the Russian-German business forum in Yekaterinburg.

The president paid attention of potential German investors to the enterprises which were no longer categorized as strategic. The fivefold reduction was announced in June of this year at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg. Medvedev stated at the forum that the number of strategic joint-stock companies would be cut from 208 to 41, and federal unitary enterprises - from 230 to 159. The privatization of the no-longer strategic enterprises is expected to bring 72 billion rubles of profit this year, RIA Novosti reports.

The new status will give the enterprises an opportunity to simplify the process of investments and privatization, Medvedev said.

The president of Russia said that commercial and innovative ties between Russia and Germany were showing positive trends in spite of the crisis.

"The commodity circulation between our countries has had a nearly 50-percent increase from January to May of 2010. Economies are recovering, and the basic articles of trade are recovering too," the president said.

The German export in Russia may grow by 10 percent this year, German experts believe. The Russian export in Germany has grown by 20 percent during five months of this year, although it mostly happened because of growing prices on oil and gas.

Russia and Germany also develop cooperation in the field of the transportation of hydrocarbons. Russia's Gazprom offered Germany's energy giant RWE to take part in the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline. RWE is currently a member of the competing project, Nabucco.

"We will be modernizing our economy fast enough, I hope. I count on the development of high-tech industries, and we of course hope that German companies will take participation in this work," the Russian leader said.

Anatoly Miranovsky

Read the original in Russian

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov