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    FIRST AZERBAIJAN-RUSSIA ECONOMIC FORUM OVER

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    BAKU, APRIL 7. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- The first economic forum Azeri-Russian Trade-Economic Relations. Tendencies and Development Prospects is over in Baku.

    It was presided by Abbas Abbasov, First Vice-Premier of Azerbaijan, and Victor Khristenko, Russian Industrial and Economic Minister.

    "The forum was important for providing an opportunity to hear and discuss questions often not on what is called the political agenda but clearly felt and raised by business", Khristenko told the press conference after the forum.

    In discussion at the forum were "changes which have to be made in the contractual base of bilateral relations in order to reinvigorate trade-economic interaction and investments, as well as the countries' legislations".

    Also in discussion was the problem of linking such legislative changes with the integration processes, in which Russia actively participates within the framework of the common economic environment (it is being formed with the participation of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan).

    Khristenko noted "the need to harmonise these processes without doing harm to business".

    Abbasov believes that the forum "has created conditions for direct contacts between businessmen in Russia and Azerbaijan, outlined prospects for further economic cooperation".

    The forum participants said that "there is a real opportunity greatly to enlarge the scope and orientation of bilateral economic cooperation, reach the lines mostly corresponding to the scientific-technical and production potential of the intensively developing economy of two countries".

    The forum gathered 300 participants, over 170 of them representing the Russian side.

    The opening ceremony was attended by Ilham Aliev, President of Azerbaijan.

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