01:25 GMT +322 March 2018
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    YEKATERINBURG, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - The 9th Economic Cooperation: A Factor in CIS Countries' Integration, a Russian economic forum, opened in Yekaterinburg, a major city in the industrial Urals region, said a spokesman for the information policy department of the Sverdlovsk region's governor on Friday.

    A wide range of issues will be discussed at the forum, including the industrial integration of CIS countries, spiritual and interethnic integration of CIS peoples and the formation of a common information space.

    The forum participants will also consider the trends and prospects of CIS countries' industrial development, innovations and their role in raising CIS industry's competitiveness. Scientific-technical cooperation within the CIS and problems, possibilities and prospects of joining the WTO will also be discussed.

    According to the Galina Kovalyova, the first vice premier of the Sverdlovsk region's government and the economics and labor minister, the forum is being held against the background of a new stage - stable economic growth - in the development of integration processes of CIS countries. "The main goal of this stage is to remove the existing obstacles in the development of integration processes in the former Soviet republics, now CIS countries," Ms. Kovalyova said.

    The forum participants visited the Euro-Asian industrial exhibition in the Yekaterinburg Palace of Sports Games and went sightseeing in the Urals' capital.

    The governor of the Sverdlovsk region, Eduard Rossel, met with Mikhail Nikolayev, the deputy speaker of the Federation Council, within the framework of the forum. They discussed the main problems that hamper the full-fledged integration of CIS countries, and economic trends in the regions and in Russia.

    A plenary session and work in panels will occur on Saturday.

    Taking part in the forum are well-known politicians, scientists and representatives of the Russian and CIS business and financial elite.

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