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German business community expects investment climate in Russia to improve

The Russian-German Foreign Trade Chamber expects cooperation with Russia to extend beyond Nord Stream 2 to new projects

BERLIN, February 19. /TASS/. German companies in Russia have enhanced the efficiency of their operations and investments, despite the declining number of firms working in the country, and hope with the arrival of the new cabinet, Russia’s business climate will further improve, Chairman of the Board of the Russian-German Foreign Trade Chamber Matthias Schepp told TASS.

Asked why the number of German firms operating in Russia plunged from 6,200 in 2014 to 4,300 as of now, he said that "it is probably due to static efficiency." "Overall market balance is there as the number of companies, meaning the quantity, has dropped, though the quality of operations has improved," the Chairman of the Chamber explained, adding that this is measured by the amount of investments made by German firms in the Russian economy.

"No firms from any other country in the world invest more in Russia’s real economy, production, plants than German ones. In the past and present, and well into the future Germany remains the leader in terms of localization," he said. "Regardless of that, we hope that investment climate will further improve, particularly with the new government, which has many pragmatic, young ministers," Schepp noted. .

The Russian-German Foreign Trade Chamber expects cooperation with Russia to extend beyond Nord Stream 2 to new projects. "We see opportunities, particularly in the field of high-speed transport," Chairman said, adding that cooperation potential in the area of dual education is also high. "That subject has been discussed at the top level - by President (Vladimir) Putin and Chancellor (Angela) Merkel. That is the field, in which we as an economic integration can contribute not only for the benefit of German companies in Russia, but also for the benefit of the Russian economy in general, through upgrading the skills of employees and specialists," he emphasized.

"Russia is successfully integrating into global business chains and becoming competitive internationally in an increasing number of fields," Schepp said, noting that the low exchange rate of the ruble is one of contributing factors. "Of course, sanctions, which we, the German businesses, do not like, create certain restrictions. However, we consider that integration into global economy the right way," he added.