PARIS, June 3 (RIA Novosti) - In 2004, Russian-French trade turnover grew by 30% as compared to 2003 and totaled some $8 billion, chief of the Russian government staff Sergei Naryshkin said in Paris on Friday.
Similar rates have been preserved in the beginning of 2005, Naryshkin said at the opening ceremony of the Russian-French cooperation seminar.
According to him, France is Russia's priority partner in the trade and economic sphere. This is not a political statement but reality having historic roots and preconditions.
The development of industrial cooperation between French and Russian companies is a new factor of bilateral cooperation, Naryshkin added.
The aerospace sphere boasts most successful projects of Russian-French cooperation, he said. Among them are the Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) projects of the Sukhoi and Snecma, production of spare parts for the A-320 aircraft by the Irkutsk company, efforts on the certification of the amphibious BE-200 aircraft and the construction of a launch site for Russian rockets in Kourou.
Today direct French investments into the real sector of Russian economy are $300 million, Naryshkin said. On the whole, there are some 500 companies involving French capital in Russia, with 50% of them being French-owned.
"Unfortunately, French companies are playing lesser role in investment processes in Russia than German and Italian companies," Naryshkin said.
The seminar in Paris was organized on the initiative of the Russian-French Dialogue Association.