"The motivation is the fact that our French businesses employ 170,000 Russians at the moment, the fact that we are in the first place in terms of direct foreign investment [in Russia]. By the way, not the first place, but the second place because [Russian President] Vladimir [Putin] said that the Germans are in the first place. So I am feeling motivated to move up to the first place especially as the situation is getting better," Macron said.
France believes in the possibility of good relations with Russia, the French president added.
The SPIEF, held annually in Russia's second largest city of St. Petersburg, is a major networking hub for entrepreneurs and a global platform for the discussion of crucial economic issues. The event began on Thursday and will continue through Saturday.
Sputnik is the official media partner of the forum.