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Today Germany is Russia's major trade and economic partner
Stepping up economic cooperation and prospects for bilateral projects will be central as usual at the Russian-German summit-level consultations in Hamburg on December 20-21. The two countries' key cabinet members are expected to participate. "Today Germany is Russia's major trade and economic partner. It accounts for about 10% of Russia's foreign trade turnover," a Kremlin source told RIA Novosti. In 2003, mutual commodity turnover reached $18.5 billion, while over the nine months of 2004 it was $16.8 billion and accounted for 12.8% of overall accumulated foreign investment in Russia, said the source. "Both countries believe they must focus their efforts on stepping up investment cooperation, cooperation in the industrial sector, above all in hi tech and science intensive branches, the energy sphere, and raising their overall cooperation to higher levels to meet their economic potentials," said the Kremlin. These issues were central at Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's meeting with Russian and German businessmen in Moscow on July 8, 2004, according to the source. The bilateral conferences on small and medium business, which took place in Stuttgart in September-October this year and were attended by the Russian premier and German chancellor, were designed to help achieve these objectives, as was the first Russian-German forum on high technology in Munich. "Russia's participation in the Hanover Industrial Trade Fair as the main partner-country [in April] will be a major economic event next year. Russian-German Economy Day and the second phase of the forum on high technology will take place as part of the fair. The Energy Summit of the two countries' major concerns, due in fall 2005, will outline new prospects for the energy sphere, the traditional sphere of bilateral cooperation," said the Kremlin. The high-level working group for economic and financial cooperation that was set up in 2000 according to the Russian and German leaders' relevant decision is the main coordinating tool in bilateral business cooperation.
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