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Italy, Russia's privileged partner

Staff writer |
Italy was and it remains a privileged partner for Russia in terms of trade relations, stated Russian President Vladimir Putin during the latest round of bilateral consultations with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

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Italy is currently the fourth largest world economy in terms of trade turnover with Russia, and trade between the two countries has been growing annually by over 20% in the past years, President Putin said.

Trade turnover between Italy and Russia stood at $45.8 billion (33.8 billion euro) in 2012. It grew by 24% between January and September this year compared to the same period last year. By end of 2013, it is expected to reach $50 billion.

Over the past four years, Russia's investment in Italy quadrupled to $500 million, while Italy's investment in Russia reached $1 billion. During their meeting, Russian President and Italian PM unveiled a 1-billion-euro joint investment fund. According to Russian officials, the new fund will stimulate mutual investments. Financed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund and Italy's Deposits and Loans Fund, the new structure is set to make its first payments next year.

"We do pin hopes on this fund worth one billion euro. We believe it will give the guarantees needed for our companies to work together in the interests of creating jobs, because we must overcome the crisis. It can be overcome only if our companies can use the possibilities that are especially interesting in Russia," the Italian prime minister said.

The scope for cooperation between the two countries is impressing. Russian president said that it's possible to work in many areas, like agriculture, transport machine-building, ship-building, both civilian and defense, as well as in space. Italy's first cosmonaut made a spacewalk not long ago, while Russia has very much expertise to share with one of its key partners.

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