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    Russian-Australian trade to grow 30% in 2008

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    MOSCOW, October 30 (RIA Novosti) - Trade between Russia and Australia will grow 30%, year-on-year, in 2008, reaching around $1 billion, Russian Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said on Thursday.

    "We project that trade will climb to just less than $1 billion. The dynamics are good and the increase will reach 30% this year," Gordeyev told journalists at a session of the Russian-Australian intergovernmental committee for trade and economic cooperation.

    In 2007, bilateral trade climbed to $698 million, a 31.1% increase on 2006. In the first half of 2008, trade reached $554.9 million.

    At the session of the committee, which has resumed its work after a 13-year hiatus, Gordeyev said: "We are giving a signal to the businesses of Russia and Australia that the governments are positively inclined in relation to trade and economic cooperation."

    Australian Trade Minister Simon Crean said that his country fully supported Russia's desire to join the WTO.

    According to Russia's State Statistics Service, Australian investment into Russia's economy in 2007 reached $15.8 million.

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