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Netherlands is Russia's largest direct investor

Direct investment to Russia from the Netherlands in the first quarter of this year hit $7.76 billion, the Russian agriculture minister said Wednesday.

At a meeting with the Dutch economics minister, Alexei Gordeyev said the country had become the top investor in the Russian economy. Bilateral commodity turnover rose 20% in the first quarter year on year, Gordeyev said, adding the increase was mainly due to Russian energy supplies.

But he added the two countries “are also considering increasing trade in machine-building and high technology.” In 2006, trade grew 45% compared with 2005 reaching $38.5 billion, the minister said, hailing the Netherlands' supplies of agricultural equipment, breeding stock, and joint ventures in the sector. (