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RF, Holland hope for deeper, stronger ties - Zubkov

October 20, 2011, 11:46 UTC+3

Russia and the Netherlands hope for deepening and strengthening of their ties

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MOSCOW, October 20 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia and the Netherlands hope for deepening and strengthening of their ties. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov spoke about mutual interests in various spheres of the economy as he opened the Russian-Holland business forum, which is organised in the framework of the official visit to Moscow of the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

“Russia and the Netherlands have been cooperating closely in the fuel and energy sector, in development of transport infrastructure, in healthcare and medicine,” Zubkov said. “I believe that our major objective nowadays is to deepen and strengthen the existing ties, to try solving certain issues on the economic agenda along with searching for new cooperation directions.”

Zubkov told the audience that Russia is following the route of the economy’s modernization, of raising its energy effectiveness and use of renewable energy sources, of modernization of healthcare.

“I believe we may cooperate here not only with major companies, but also with small and medium businesses,” he continued. “Russia has been investing a lot and has been constructing medical facilities in major cities, but in villages we should raise the level of healthcare.”

Zubkov mentioned that in May of the current year, the Russian-Netherlands Mixed Commission for Economic Co-operation organised a working group on healthcare. Now the working group begins practical work, he said.

Viktor Zubkov suggested paying special attention to transport-logistics infrastructure. He said that over modernisation of the Sheremetyevo airport’s terminals, Russia used widely the Dutch experience in development of airport hubs.

“Let us use jointly this experience at the Pulkovo airport /in St. Petersburg/,” he said.

The transport issues are becoming especially important as Russia starts preparations for hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

“Yesterday I supported our team Zenit,” he continued. “We could have scored more goals, but unfortunately the score was 2:2.”

The audience applauded and laughed at those worlds.

“Everybody here must be fans of Zenit,” Zubkov reacted.

“I am a fan of Feyenoord Rotterdam /Dutch football league/,” Rutte replied laughing.

“We should play with you,” Zubkov suggested.

The Dutch prime minister also supported development of cooperation in various spheres. They are bio energy, transport, healthcare and medical-biological sciences.

“For a long time, the Netherlands has been a major investor in Russia,” Rutte said. “We would like to keep the position.”

The two countries signed on Thursday several documents. They include cooperation agreement between the universities of Groningen and Skolkovo, a memorandum on construction of a plant to produce mobile medical complexes of Lamboo Mobile Medical company and a memorandum on cooperation between the Netherlands’ Diary Association and the National Diary Producers Union /Russia/.

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