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Annual meeting and business forum of EBRD to be held in Russia this year will draw attention to Russian regional development
An annual meeting and business forum of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to be held in Russia this year will draw attention to Russian regional development, the EBRD president said Wednesday. Jean Lemierre said in an interview with RIA Novosti that the EBRD summit and business forum, which will take place May 20-21 in Kazan, the capital of the Volga republic of Tatarstan, will be held in Russia for the first time in the past 13 years. Lemierre said the choice of venue is important because the Russian economy is growing and the EBRD is shifting its focus to the east in light of growing opportunities for regional development. The Kazan summit will focus on the work done by the EBRD, the bank's development plans and large projects, particularly, in the sphere of high technologies, infrastructure and transport, Lemierre said. The projects include the EBRD's participation in efforts to finance small-budget airlines and create a new Russian regional aircraft, the Sukhoi SuperJet-100, the president said. Last year, the EBRD channeled 75% of its investment to the regions, turning the bank into a serious regional partner. The retail sector, electricity generation and energy efficiency, airports and ports, and the housing and utilities sector are major areas for the EBRD's investment, Lemierre said. Alain Pilloux, EBRD business group director for Russia, said the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development doubled its investment in Russia, to about $2.5 billion last year. A clear-cut goal for this year is to increase the number of projects and the volume of funds allocated for them, first of all, in the sphere of infrastructure and energy, he said. Pilloux said the EBRD plans to expand its presence to all the federal districts in Russia in 2007.
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