07:12 GMT02 December 2020
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    St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2015 (42)
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    Finland hopes to restore its trade relations with Russia amid anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the European Union, Esko Aho, Executive Chairman of the Board of East Office of Finnish Industries, said.

    The Finnish economy is suffering from the decline in trade operations with Russia. The volume of Finnish exports to Russia has been declining for the past two years.

    The international economic forum in St. Petersburg which ends on Sunday proved that Western businesses want to keep their relations with Russia without breaching the sanctions regime. After a year-long break, many Western companies returned to the economic summit in St. Petersburg.

    Foreign investors are also showing their increasing interest in the Russian market.

    In recent years, Russia and China have taken a number of significant measures to develop their trade and economic ties. Western companies realize they could lose the crucial Russian market to rival China and other Asian countries.

    At the forum, Finland, Italy and Greece were the only EU member countries that have held their own panel discussions.

    "One reason is that we are experiencing some problems in our economy. We have to use the possibility for trade and develop economic cooperation with Russia," Aho said as quoted by Yle.

    "At the same time we must keep to the EU rules. This means that the sanctions create some obstacles."

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    St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2015 (42)

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    anti-Russian sanctions, business, SPIEF-2015, Europe, China, Russia, Finland
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