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Business news, 26.02.2006 14:34

St. Petersburg offers Norway chance to join economic zone

norway The governor of St. Petersburg said Thursday she hoped that Norwegian companies would become residents of a special area set up in Russia's second largest city providing tax breaks and other privileges for work on technological and innovation projects.

"We would be interested in making Norwegian companies residents of the special economic zone," Valentina Matviyenko told Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere.

The governor said Norwegian and Russian experts were involved in the project to establish a technological park in the energy sector and proposed locating it in St. Petersburg.

Matviyenko asked Stoere to help involve Norwegian IT-companies in the construction of a technological park in St. Petersburg.

"The creation of such a center involving our scientists and combining the experience of Norwegian experts could take our relations to a qualitatively new level," she said.

According to Matviyenko, St. Petersburg assigned priority to relations with Norway in the spheres of fishery, oil and natural gas, tourism, culture and innovations.

"I believe that the potential of St. Petersburg's cooperation with Norway has not been used to the full, in particular, in the investment sector," she said and proposed holding joint conferences, roundtables and business seminars to remedy the problem.

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