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St Petersburg Economic Forum 'opportunity for Italy'

(AGI) Moscow, June 7 - A visit by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to the St ...

St Petersburg Economic Forum 'opportunity for Italy'
 Riunione del comitato organizzatore per il 20 ° St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

(AGI) Moscow, June 7 - A visit by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to the St Petersburg Economic Forum "won't be a point of arrival, but of starting in order to support a growing presence of our companies in this country," said Italian Ambassador to Moscow, Cesare Maria Ragaglini. He told AGI that he anticipates the signing of "a number of agreements and memorandums of an industrial character". Italy's participation is concentrated on high-tech mechanics, energy, agro-industry, infrastructure and finance. "We have big partnerships that, in recent weeks, have been developing between Italian and Russian companies including state ones. Leonardo-Finmeccanica is discussing a contract with Rosneft for the delivery of 160 helicopters (AW 189)." They are assembled in Russia in a joint-venture between AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters, he said. Leonardo-Finmeccanica will be one of the leading companies in St Petersburg as it is sponsoring the Italian Pavilion, designed by the Conoscere Eurasia (Knowing Eurasia) Association, in partnership with the embassy. The ambassador does not see the fact that the company led by Mauro Moretti has reduced its financial presence from 25 to 5 percent in the Superjet International joint venture, as a sign of disengagement. "It is a financial choice, but the technical cooperation, which is the most important thing, remains intact." The message the embassy and government want to send from the forum, is that it is more necessary than ever to make "a leap in quality in economic and industrial cooperation" and to grasp the opportunity offered by this phase of the Russian economy, aimed at development of the national production system, in an attempt to distance itself from dependence on imports. "The Russian government's economic modernisation policy fits perfectly with the technological capabilities and know-how that many Italian companies possess and, taking account of the important incentives offered by the federal government and regional ones, we believe that there are interesting investment possibilities," he said. The embassy has recently drafted a "guide to investment" to assist business people interested in this market. Unlike other European countries with a more industrial DNA and that "deal with the market as a country system", Italian business is characterised by "small and medium-sized companies with financial difficulties in investing abroad," said the ambassador. He advised SMEs to take part and offer themselves to Russian partners covering a complete production chain, something feasible in the agribusiness sector. Not only Russia but also Italy provides the tools to help companies, such as the foreign credit provided by SACE, SIMEST and various bank investment funds. "The embassy then remains available to advise companies in the choice of project, partners and contacts with local authorities, because Russia requires a thoughtful approach." . .