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Italian senior diplomat calls for closer cooperation of Russian, Italian small businesses

Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Int'l Cooperation Manlio Di Stefano said Italy can share its knowhow in the sphere of innovation businesses, such as smart transport

ST. PETERSBURG, June 6. /TASS/. Italy is ready to help develop small businesses in Russia and set up joint companies, Italian Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Manlio Di Stefano said on Thursday.

"When it comes to diversification and de-localization of production, I think Italy can play a very big role in this process from the point of view of creating and improving a system of medium-sized and small businesses in Russia," he told a Russia-Italy session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Thus, in his words, Italy can share its knowhow in the sphere of innovation businesses, such as smart transport.

"It is also necessary to set up joint [Russian-Italian] ventures," he added.

According to Di Stefano, cooperation between Russian and Italian small businesses may be an optimal model amidst the Western anti-Russian sanctions. "Many have said that its is necessary to look for some ways to bypass [the sanctions], for instance, to strengthen ties between small and medium-sized businesses. It is a possible way out," he stressed.

The 2019 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is being held on June 6-8. The forum’s motto this year is "Creating a Sustainable Development Agenda". The organizer for SPIEF-2019 is the Roscongress Foundation. TASS is a media partner, the official photo hosting agency and the operator of SPIEF’s presentation zones with support from multinational firm EY, and the Foreign Investment Advisory Council in Russia.