Russian governor on U.S. trip discusses investment


MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti, Alexei Berezin) - The governor of St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city, said Wednesday that U.S. firms had expressed great interest in investing in Russia.

Valentina Matviyenko, currently on a trip to the United States, told a news conference early Wednesday (Moscow time) that American companies were primarily interested in major infrastructure projects, which had been presented by the Russian delegation from St. Petersburg.

"We [St. Petersburg] have been implementing these kinds of projects since 2004, with an overall cost of $5 billion, and we plan to raise half of this amount by attracting investment," she said, adding that the U.S. was the city's largest investor, accounting for 19% of total foreign investment in St. Petersburg in 2005.

"Summarizing all the meetings [during the visit], we are able to draw the tentative conclusion that the U.S. companies were interested in Russia, the Russian market, business opportunities, investment, and the development of banking, financial and insurance services, along with other services," Matvienko said.

The governor also highlighted discussions with U.S. tourism firms aimed at developing the tourism business in St. Petersburg, which was founded in 1703 and is considered one of world's most beautiful and historical places.

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