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PARIS, November 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Representatives of French business circles hope to intensify and diversify the ties with Russian partners, said the participants in the Russian-French Economic Forum, which opened here on Thursday. French President Francois Hollande noted in a message of greetings to the guests of the forum that Russia’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) will promote the development of bilateral projects.
“At the meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow we agreed that the development of our economic cooperation is the top priority meeting the interests of France and Russia,” French Minister of Foreign Trade Nicole Bricq conveyed the words of the republican president. “Investment in both directions is vitally important to maintain our relations. However, we can move forward, as Russia’s accession in the WTO, which France supported, gives a perfect opportunity for our countries in this sphere,” she said.
As for the prospects of bilateral cooperation, the participants in the debates shared the view that Russian and French business people can and should participate more actively in the economic life of both countries on the basis of a rich history of many centuries of relations between Moscow and Paris. “We can enrich our ties even more, the lifting of customs and visa barriers is the top priority in this sphere,” President of the Union of Enterprises of France (MEDEF) Pierre Gattaz noted.
He recalled that the debates over possible cancellation of the Schengen visas for representatives of Russian business community that is expected by 2018 is an important undertaking. “The liberalization of the visa rules is very important and we should continue working on this issue together,” MEDEF head added.
For his part, head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Aleksander Shokhin noted that “the progress of cooperation is quite inspiring.” He named promising joint projects in the energy sector, financial sphere, carmaking, machine-building, on the consumer market and in the aerospace industry among other issues. “However, it is important to provide for sweeping cooperation along with major projects, which are being implemented under the patronage of the governments,” Shokhin noted. “We should create conditions for successful business and mutual penetration on the markets of the two countries,” Shokhin added.