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  Sunday, July 12, 2020
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St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko said Russia and Greece could expand their bilateral cooperation immensely
St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko said Russia and Greece could expand their bilateral cooperation immensely. “Russia has a very stable economic position. For example, St. Petersburg’s foreign trade with Greece has been growing by about 50 percent a year over the past two years,” Matviyenko said after she had been awarded the Order of Honour on Wednesday. “This is a good signal, bit I think there is still a lot of potential to be tapped there,” she added. In November of last year, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis visited St. Petersburg, and issues of economic cooperation were discussed with her, Matviyenko said. “I think there are all conditions to intensify trade and economic ties, and there are real possibilities for that,” she said. “St. Petersburg is quite an attractive region in terms of investment, and the volume of domestic and foreign investments in the city grows every year. We are ready to offer new niches for cooperation with Russia to Greek investors, too,” the governor said. According to Matviyenko, the sides have agreed to hold a joint business seminar with the participation of Greek and St. Petersburg representatives. At the same time, Matviyenko believes that there is still not enough credible information about the possibilities of the two countries to develop economic cooperation. “Foreign investors, including Greek ones, are afraid of investment risks even though Russia has long been gone from that zone and all those who are working in Russia today confirm that these risks are minimal,” she said. More than ten major infrastructure projects are being implemented in St. Petersburg through private-public partnership and concessions. “We need a closer dialogue and more frequent meetings between Russian and Greek businessmen,” the governor said. Matviyenko invited Greek President Carolos Papoulias to visit St. Petersburg. The governor said Pupoulias plans to make an official visit to Russia and “he promised to visit St. Petersburg by all means during the trip so that we could continue the dialogue on the expansion of cooperation with Greece.” Matviyenko is well known in Greece where she worked as Russia’s ambassador ion 1997-1998.
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