Foreign carmakers to take driving seat at St. Petersburg forum

Iran Materials 13 June 2006 13:12 (UTC +04:00)

(RIA Novosti) - Carmakers from around the world will meet with senior Russian officials over the next three days, as St. Petersburg hosts business figures at the 10th International Economic Forum.

A number of foreign carmakers, in particular U.S. giant Ford and France's Renault, are already working in Russia, and German carmaker Volkswagen signed an agreement earlier in the month to set up an assembly plant in central Russia. U.S. General Motors will launch the construction of an assembly plant during the forum and Japan's Nissan is expected to sign on June 13 a deal on investing $200 million in a plant, reports Trend.

A source in the Kremlin said the decision taken by the heads of these companies highlighted the excellent investment climate in Russia.

"These are not ratings agencies but people who have brought their production capacities here," the source said. "And we are grateful, will support them and will talk about this."

The forum in Russia's second largest city, which hosted finance ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized nations on the weekend and will welcome G8 leaders for a summit in July, has become an effective platform for discussion on Russia's integration in the global economy, the source said.

"It is important to talk about Russia here, rather than in London or Davos," the source said. "The discussions there are also helpful, but they are ineffective in terms of implementation."

Presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said the event would focus on priority issues of Russia's economic development, including the implementation of four national projects to raise living standards, foreign investment, cutting red tape and energy security. The aide also said that President Vladimir Putin would attend the opening ceremony and participate in the work of the plenary meeting Challenges of Globalization: Competitive Advantages of Developing Countries.