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Russian MPs hope for closer cooperation with Switzerland regardless of sanctions

May 16, 2017, 21:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Amendments to Russian laws geared to encourage localization of foreign production in Russia are expected to promote closer cooperation, Vladimir Gutenev said

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MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. Russian lawmakers hope for closer economic cooperation with Switzerland, regardless of the European Union’s sanctions, Vladimir Gutenev, first deputy chairman of the economic policy committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, said on Tuesday at a meeting with a visiting delegation from the Swiss Federal Assembly’s National Council (lower house of parliament) led by its speaker Jurg Stahl.

"The sanctions are doing harm to both Russia and Switzerland," he said. "Russia has taken no measure to bar Swiss-made products from its market. Nevertheless, there two sectors of the Swiss economic that are of traditional interest - pharmaceuticals and the machine tool industry - where restrictions on equipment purchase may impact manufacturers." In his words, it may entail a shrinkage of Switzerland’s presence on the Russian pharmaceuticals market, which arouses serious concern.

However, he noted, amendments to Russian laws geared to encourage localization of foreign production in Russia are expected to promote closer cooperation. Thus, a law on the industrial policy provides for a mechanism of special investment contracts. "It will open new possibilities and will make the Russian market more promising for foreign partners," Gutenev said.

The subject of the anti-Russian sanctions was also touched upon by the Swiss delegation. In particular, Adrian Amstutz, leader of the Swiss People’s Party faction in the lower parliament house, said the delegation had visited an international specialized metalworking industry exhibition Metalloobrabotka-2017 in Moscow. "We spoke with representatives of Swiss companies displaying their products at the exhibition and saw that the Swiss industry is also impacted by this situation linked with the sanctions. It is in our mutual interests to remove these barriers. We have certain interest in further development of our trade and economic relations," he stressed.

Apart from that, participants in the meeting discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral cooperation, including cooperation in the spheres of machine tool building, pharmaceuticals, environmental problems, and legislative activities.

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