25 years of friendship and business cooperation

The German city of Dusseldorf hosted Moscow Days. The event was tied to the 25-year anniversary of the establishment of sister-city relations between the two cities. In 1992, Moscow and Düsseldorf signed an Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation between the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Russian capital.

The capital of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia was visited by a Moscow government delegation, including Minister and Head of the Moscow Department for External Economic Affairs and International Relations Sergey Cheremin, Head of the Department of Natural Resources Management and Environmental Protection Anton Kulbachevsky, and representatives from the Urban Development Policy and Construction Complex, the Moscow City Architecture Committee, and Moscow departments of culture, sports, and tourism.

The business program for Moscow Days in Düsseldorf started with a meeting between Minister, Head of the Moscow Department for External Economic Affairs and International Relations Sergey Cheremin and Lord Mayor of Düsseldorf Thomas Geisel. The two sides discussed areas of further cooperation for the cities.

Over the past decade, relations between the two cities “continued to develop, overcoming conjunctural declines and geopolitical tensions.”

“It’s symbolic that a lot of major companies that operate in Russia today chose Düsseldorf as the location for their headquarters,” Thomas Geisel said during his speech, “We are very happy to host Moscow. We hope that business meetings with participation of big business from Germany and Russia, as well as the scheduled cultural and athletic events, will interest all residents of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Especially since we haven’t forgotten the warm reception we were shown in Moscow a year ago,”

The partnership with Düsseldorf is one of the most prominent examples of effective cooperation between Moscow and federal states in Germany. “The two capitals have tremendous potential for cooperation,” Sergey Cheremin declared, noting that the Russian capital is one of the most rapidly developing mega-cities in the world. “Our efforts have been mentioned in the influential British publication Financial Times. The paper’s experts unanimously recognized Moscow as the most sustainably developing city in Eastern Europe. A lot of international rating agencies also recognize our city’s rapid pace of development, economic appeal, and high standard of living,” Sergey Cheremin said, pointing out the importance of strengthening inter-regional ties with German partners.

“Moscow is a very interesting and attractive market. It is home to more than 5,000 German companies, and at least 500 of them are from the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. About 400 Russian companies, which represent high-tech sectors of the economy, operate in Düsseldorf. We are extremely grateful to Mr. Geisel for such a serious and engaged approach to holding Days of Moscow in Düsseldorf,” the Minister said.

While answering questions from German journalists, Sergey Cheremin pointed out that the authorities of the Russian capital have been paying a lot of attention to establishing a transparent and attractive business climate for foreign companies. For example, new laws have been passed in order to protect investors from non-commercial risks. The Moscow government is trying to stimulate foreign partners who are investing directly into the city’s economy.

At the end of the press conference, Sergey Cheremin handed Thomas Geisel, who is an avid football fan, a football signed by players of the Russian national team.

A round table called “Education Through Culture and Culture Through Education: a 21st Century Formula” took place within the scope of Days of Moscow. “About 200,000 thousand people in Germany are learning Russian today, in part because of support provided by Moscow and Russia,” said Minister, Head of the Moscow Department for External Economic Affairs and International Relations Sergey Cheremin during his presentation at the round table, “The Moscow government has been implementing a special program to support Russian diasporas abroad for several years now, allocating a total of 300 million rubles a year for the program.”

Sergey Cheremin recalled that the Moscow Department of External Economic Affairs and International Relations maintains ties with 170 compatriot organizations from all over the world, working with 50 countries. Moscow is part of the Government Commission of the Russian Federation for the Affairs of Compatriots Abroad, which is headed up by the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov. “We recently did a report for this commission, and our work received good reviews,” the minister said, “The most important thing in the program is supporting and promoting Russian language abroad.”

The City Hall hosted three other round tables: “Programs and Technologies for Environmental Monitoring, Greening the City,” “Metro Construction in the City,” and “Cooperation in the Sphere of Culture.”

Within the scope of Days of Moscow, the capital of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia held a presentation of Moscow’s economic and investment potential for members of the German-Russian economic club. Thanks to powerful economic diversification and policy, Moscow has remained one of the most stable points of economic growth in Russia. This feature of Moscow helped attract investment to economic development, Sergey Cheremin pointed out. In the middle of 2016, investment amounts totaled $189.8 billion, which accounted for 48.7% of total investment amounts in Russia. This year, this indicator amounts to $173.5 billion.

“In 2016, Moscow was in the top 10 Russian regions in terms of the quality of the investment climate and places first in the European rating for the development of public-private partnerships,” Sergey Cheremin said, “In 2016, companies registered in Moscow did business with 204 countries. The city’s foreign trade turnover amounted to $194.4 billion.”

During his speech, the Lord Mayor of Düsseldorf Thomas Geisel said that he is very happy with the successful development of the city’s partnership with Moscow. “It might seem that out very different cities don’t have much in common, especially considering that Düsseldorf is 20 times smaller than Moscow. But we have a lot to learn from the Government of Moscow, which does so much to increase the standard of living for the city’s residents,” he said, “We are interested in Moscow’s experience in the sphere of public transportation. Düsseldorf may be small, but we have traffic jams. I often talk to business representatives and see that all major German companies with headquarters in Moscow value their business in Russia and want to continue operating in Moscow in the future.”



Founder: Department for External Economic and International Relations of the Government of Moscow

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