VLADIVOSTOK, September 4. /TASS/. Italy hopes that support for small and medium businesses will attract more joint Russian-Italian companies to the Far East, Italian Ambassador to Russia Pasquale Terracciano said at the "Russia - Europe" session at the Eastern European Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok.
"Large Italian companies, such as Enel, are already working in Russia. The president of the Russian-Italian chamber of commerce also serves as executive director at Mikro Kapital. So we are paying attention to development of small and medium businesses," Terracciano said. "Many big companies have developed good relations with Russia, but we also want to see more joint small and medium Russian-Italian companies. The future lies in this," he added.
The ambassador reminded that Italy signed an agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum aimed at supporting small and medum joint companies. "After a year and a half of my work in Russia, I support resuming the operations of the Fund for Supporting Small Businesses in Russia at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which was temporaily suspended due to sanctions," Terracciano noted. "I think this decision [to suspend it] was a mistake. We hope that it will start working again someday. In the meantime, we are working at the bilateral level, and we signed the agreement precisely for this," he said.
"We hope that both large companies like Enel and small and medium businesses from Italy will launch joint projects with Russia and will bring an European approach to business to the Russian Far East," he concluded.
"It is important to know that not only personnel skills and raw materials are attracting investment to joint companies, but also attitudes of regional authorities, like in case with Italian company Barilla in the Moscow region," Terracciano said. "It is not only about tax breaks but also assistance and transparency of the local authorities," he added.
"Very favorable conditions were created in some regions, including in the Moscow region, which stimulated Italian companies' interest in opening affiliates in Russia," he noted.
The 5th Eastern Economic Forum will be held in Vladivostok on September 4-6. The forum is organized by the Roscongress foundation. TASS is the main information partner, official photohost agency and moderator of presentations of Far East's innovation opportunities.