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World Bank President James Wolfensohn will pay an official visit to Moscow on February 3-4
World Bank President James Wolfensohn will pay an official visit to Moscow on February 3-4 at the invitation of the Russian government. The visit will focus on meetings with Russian federal and regional officials to discuss the competitiveness of the Russian economy. According to a World Bank press release, the meetings will be held with direct involvement of Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov who will also preside over them. According to Kristalina Georgieva, director of the World Bank's Russian office, a closed conference on competitiveness issues is planned, with key economy-related ministers and heads of four Russian regions to participate. Then, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade will hold a public seminar on the same subject. The seminar will be co-chaired by the ministry's head German Gref and James Wolfensohn. Ranking officials from the United States, Ireland, India, Singapore and South Korea will attend the seminar to introduce their Russian counterparts to their latest experiences in implementing national economic competitiveness enhancement strategies. In addition, a memorandum of understanding between the World Bank and the Russian Coordination Council of Entrepreneurial Unions is to be signed during the visit. The memorandum is aimed at intensifying cooperation between private businesses and the World Bank in Russia and furnishing new opportunities for international trade and investment promotion with support of the financial products and services the World Bank Group provides to its members. According to the press release, the memorandum is to mark the accession of Russian business associations to the network of 34 business intermediary organizations (e.g. investment, business or trade associations) in 27 countries, including EU member states, as well as Turkey, South Africa, Morocco, Canada, Singapore and New Zealand. Probably, it is going to become the last visit of Mr. Wolfensohn to Russia on the governmental invitation, Ms. Georgieva said, since his term in office is to expire in late May or early June this year. Mr. Wolfensohn, who has been in office for as many as 10 years, was not about running for the third term.
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