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14.05.2013       French business is coming to the Smolensk region

Yesterday, May 13, in Moscow Governor Alexey Ostrovskiy had a meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic in the Russian Federation, Jean de Gliniasty.

The Smolensk region was also represented by First Vice-Governor Mikhail Pitkevich and Deputy Governor Alexander Medvedev. The French delegation consisted of Head of the Economic Department, Minister-Counselor for Economic and Financial Affairs of the Embassy of France in Russia Daniel Maitre, Head of UBIFRANCE Trade Mission Elizabeth Pyuissan, President of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce Emmanuel Quidet.

At the meeting held at the residence of the Ambassador the investment activities of French companies in the region's economy, as well as humanitarian and cultural cooperation were discussed.

At the beginning of the meeting, Jean de Gliniasty said that Smolensk has great historical significance for the two countries and expressed the hope that joint efforts will increase and develop the presence of the French business and cultural community in the region.

Among the advantages of the Smolensk region for the investors the Governor pointed out its good geographical position, which makes it suitable for the development of terminals and logistics centers and guarantees end markets. Moreover, there is one of the best highways in Russia “Moscow-Minsk" going through the Smolensk region, which makes doing business much more comfortable. The region has a substantial educational potential.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic in the Russian Federation Jean de Gliniasty pointed out that Smolensk and Tulle have been twin-cities for over 30 years and it has become a good basis and a signal for investors about the need to develop bilateral relations in different areas.

During the meeting the representatives of the French business community said that now there is a trend to implement major investment projects in the regions, and from this point of view the Smolensk region can provide interesting opportunities in such areas as industry, electro-energy, agriculture and healthcare. In the near future, after studying the proposals submitted by the regional authorities the leaders of the UBIFRANCE Trade Mission to Russia and the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce will visit the Smolensk region, where the configuration of the intended investment project will be subject to detailed discussion.

At the end of the business meeting the parties agreed to look into the issue of creating in Smolensk a specialized center of the French language and culture, which will be a part of the international network "Alliance Française".

On the same day in the Representation office of the Smolensk region Administration at the Government of the Russian Federation (Moscow) Governor Alexey Ostrovskiy had a meeting with the representatives of the "SIKAM" company, the world's largest manufacturer of equipment for power supply networks. At present, the group "SIKAM" includes 45 companies in 21 countries and produces almost all the equipment necessary for the construction and operation of overhead and underground all voltage electricity and telecommunication lines.

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