MOSCOW, February 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russian-French trade turnover may exceed the 2011 level of $28.1 billion in the foreseeable future, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
“I am confident that there is every chance not only to achieve the 2011 indicators, but also to surpass them,” Putin said at a meeting with Russian and French business representatives.
He called for invigorated bilateral business contacts, adding that the volume of capital investment by Russian businesses in the French economy is significantly smaller than French investment in the Russian economy.
Putin said the EU visa requirement for Russian citizens interfered with “normal communication,” as well as investment.
“European investment in Russia is many times bigger than Russian investment in EU countries,” he said, stressing that “Russia’s investment potential is very high and constantly growing.”
Putin cited the Rosatom nuclear corporation as a good example of large-scale bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, specifically in developing fourth-generation fast-neutron reactors.
“I believe this pooling of efforts gives Russian and French nuclear companies a tangible competitive edge on the world market, where competition is very tough and constantly growing,” Putin said.
French President Francois Hollande, who is currently visiting Moscow, said some banking procedures and visa regulations were an impediment to investment, but could easily be removed.
He also called for Russian and French companies to join forces in “moving into other markets, investing in third countries.”