Medvedev calls for German contribution to Russian modernization

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev invited German companies Thursday to participate in modernizing Russian companies.

"I hope that German organizations will take part in modernization of the companies of interest to them," said Medvedev at a Russian-German business forum held in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, which was also attended by visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Medvedev said, despite the global financial crisis and economic downturn, there had been a positive trend in trade and innovation ties with Germany. In the first five months this year, sales volumes between the countries doubled.

"We will modernize our economy fast enough and I expect a boost in the high-tech field. We hope German firms will participate in that process as they have great experience," Medvedev said.

The new hi-tech hub outside Moscow, Skolkovo, is believed to be one of the most promising. The Russian government has planned to allocate some 170 billion U.S. dollars for it in addition to private investment.

Medvedev and Merkel will discuss bilateral trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian issues, as well as international affairs.

A range of documents are also expected to be signed during the Yekaterinburg summit, including a 2.8-billion-dollar contract between Siemens AG and Russian Railways on high-speed trains.

[Source: Xinhua, Moscow, 15Jul10]

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