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Minister: “Russia may become biggest car market in Europe in 2008”

Russia may become the biggest car market in Europe by the end of 2008, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Khristenko said during his meeting with German Minister of Economics and Technology Michael Glos.

According to Khristenko, this fact may change plans of companies coming here under investment projects, the Prime Tass news agency said. He is confident that the above-mentioned companies will enlarge their manufacturing facilities in Russia, Prime Tass said. During the talks held Wednesday, the two ministers focused on ways to increase the volume and quality of mutual investments, enhance industrial cooperation and develop joint projects in the sphere of innovations, Prime Tass said.

The countries have all the necessary basic conditions in order to tap their potential, Khristenko said. “Investments in Russia’s economy are on the rise,” he said, adding, “In January-May 2008, Russia’s gross domestic product went up by 5.8%, while industry grew by almost 7%.” The two ministers indicated that Germany remains Russia’s biggest foreign trade partner. Bilateral trade has increased fourfold over the past six years, they said.

Russia and Germany are developing joint projects in the spheres of car manufacturing, production of car parts, energy machine building, production of agricultural machinery and other high-tech areas. Khristenko and Glos also discussed prospects for the development of a stable relationship between Russian and German industrial facilities and research centres, underlining that their countries should make investments in innovations on a mutual basis. (Economic Times)