Italy will be a partner state of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2016, reports TASS with reference to Italian Embassy in Russia.
Italian Ambassador to Russia Cesare Ragaglini said that this partnership “shows once again that Italy is in very good relations with Russia. That will be the first time Italian Prime Minister will attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum”.
Consul General of Italy in St. Petersburg Leonardo Bencini told TASS that there will be a large Italian delegation to attend the Forum.
Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation and Executive Secretary of the SPIEF Organizing Committee Anton Kobyakov said that Italian “state-guest status entails a whole range of events” including conferences and seminars in Italy, annually hold Eurasian Forum in Verona, and hosting an Italian House at SPIEF 2016.
According to him, the initiative to establish an Italian House at SPIEF came from Antonio Fallico, the head of the Association Conoscere Eurasia and European partner of the Forum. “This is not the first time we have awarded guest state status to a country at SPIEF, and this year we have selected Italy,” Mr Kobyakov said.
According to the Italian Embassy in Russia, Italy is Russia’s second largest trading partner in Europe after Germany, and fourth largest worldwide. In 2013, Italian export to Russia reached record EUR 10.8 billion. In 2014, the number fell by almost 15%, while 2015 showed no improvement.
About 400 Italian companies operate in Russia. According to Mr Ragaglini, tourism sector is one of the most important with Russian tourists being major source market for Italy. In 2014, more than 1.2 million Russian tourists visited Italy, while 2015 saw a decline of 28%. Italy is determined to overcome recent negative trends and restore growth this year working together with Russian tour operators.(A.K.)
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