ST. PETERSBURG, May 25. /TASS/. French companies signed about 50 contracts with Russian partners on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), France’s President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday at the plenary session of the Forum.
"Our businesses signed 50 agreements within the framework of this visit alone," Macron says. He recalled that "certain partnership agreements were signed in the hardest times of history."
"We should rely on this creative force because France and Russia believe in it," the French leader said. "And our presence here, just as presence of Japan, shows that this determination is mutual," he added.
Not a single French company has left the Russian market over the last decade, he said.
"The feeling of satisfaction appears because French businesses, French partners remained in Russia throughout the period, especially when Russia slipped into recession in 2009-2010," Macron said. "If we take a look, then not a single French undertaking has left the Russian market over the last ten years," he said. "This is a strong signal for me," the president added.
"Even in hard times, entrepreneurs, large holdings and financial partners from France remained in Russia and continued making its contribution into development of economic life in Russia," Macron said. "Our French companies hire 170,000 Russian citizens. We rank second by foreign direct investments and I have a motivation feeling to move from the second to the first place, especially when times are improving," the French president said.
"Our partnerships are functioning very well in the field of energy, industry, and the financial sector," Macron said. "I would like that we are able to consolidate this joint work," he noted.