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Vladimir Putin spoke in favor of diversification of Russian-American economic ties
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke in favor of diversification of Russian-American economic ties, he said at a meeting with General Electric's Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey R. Immelt. President Putin believes that in recent years he and US President George Bush have done a lot to strengthen Russian-American relations. "I think we have recently done a lot with President Bush to strengthen Russian-American relations. I would like to spread the level of political interaction to the economy," said Mr. Putin. General Electric is optimistic about the changes underway in Russia, and believes the present moment a favorable one for investments in Russia, said Jeffrey Immelt. Now we have big capabilities in the banking sphere, in the spheres of energy, transport, medical industry, said Mr. Immelt. He believes that the sphere of railway transport and energy present great possibilities for Russia-General Electric cooperation. "This is right. These are the two large industries where we could work very actively," Mr. Putin agreed. "We are conducting the energy dialogue rather actively, it is very versatile, and it is pleasant for me that there is a chance to not only speak about this from the point of view of joint work connected with energy resources production, but also to discuss other aspects of this problem," said the president. Mr. Immelt said he considered joint work in the sphere of railways very important too. We plan to introduce technologies into the modern managerial methods, investments in partnership with a Russian company. We consider this a long-term partnership, which will make it possible not only to provide for the local market but to export production as well, added Mr. Immelt. We are ready to invest up to $100 million to create such a base, said the General Electric CEO. Mr. Putin asked Mr. Immelt what the company's profit from activity in Russia was last year. Mr. Immelt said the turnover in Russia totaled some $700 million last year, and the revenues were some $50-100 million. The General Electric web site reports that the company's overall world sales exceed $133 billion. In 2003, GE earned $480 million in Russia. In 2004, the company plans to receive $675 million, and by 2007, it forecasts an increase of revenues to $1.1 billion. A special scientific and design center that works out components for hi-tech production of General Electric operates in Moscow. The company plans to soon organize the production of a new generation locomotive in Russia, worked out together by Russian engineers and GE specialists. Besides, this past summer, the corporation bought Russia's DeltaBank to enter the Russian market of consumer loans.
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