Before meeting with the Russian President, Doris Leuthard, who also heads the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, and Russian Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina signed a joint Action Plan until the end of 2013.
This interdepartmental programme involves further intensification of contacts at the ministerial level, improvement of the legal framework, boosting cooperation in investment and innovation and strengthening ties among small and medium businesses, promoting bilateral cooperation aimed at modernisation through implementing specific economic, innovative, scientific and technological projects, as well as collaboration on a commercial basis in such areas as energy efficiency and energy conservation, medical technology, telemedicine and pharmaceuticals, machine-building and aerospace, information and nanotechnology.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Madam President, colleagues,
I’m happy to have this opportunity to meet again. Last year saw a major state visit of the Russian President to Switzerland, which was very successful. We were just remembering the issues we discussed and the outcome. The meeting with the business community was also very constructive, which is always important. Business is the main mobilising force in the development of relations.
This year has not passed in vain for us: our trade has grown almost two-thirds against 2009. This is a good trend that testifies to the strengthening of Russian-Swiss economic ties and to the recovery of our economies from the crisis. Therefore, our present objective is to consolidate these positive trends.
Of course, there is the human dimension in addition to the economy, including cultural ties and a variety of other issues that we can discuss. Last year we had many great events during the visit.
I don’t know if I can ask you about the health of the two bear cubs that we gave to the Swiss Confederation. Do you know how they live? It is important to us, Madam President.
President of Switzerland Doris Leuthard (as translated): Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,
First of all I would like to thank you for the friendly reception here in Sochi. I am very grateful for the invitation to come here and see this as a great honour.
Your visit to Switzerland is very well known and it is well remembered. As for the cubs, they are doing very well. They have become a great tourist attraction, so that we even had to widen the paths leading to their habitat.
Your visit to the Suvorov monument was also very well received by the public. You've done a great deal to revive our memory of those momentous historical events.
I think that your visit also contributed to a rise in our economic relations as demonstrated by the growth in trade and in mutual investments in Russia and Switzerland. I think that all the steps you have taken, including the strengthening of stability in Russia, all of this has contributed to expanding our relations and investments. I would like to congratulate you on that.
The new Action Plan on economic cooperation, which we signed today with Russian Minister of Economic Development [Elvira Nabiullina], will be followed by specific projects. We have finalised many details regarding our cooperation in energy and in the healthcare industry. We have great prospects and big markets in these areas.