Newsletter by the Stockholm Region Office in St. Petersburg Issue 99 2008, week 25

Russian-Swedish Forum

On 10-11 June 2008 the Russian-Swedish Forum took place in St. Petersburg attracting over 600 participants from Russia, Sweden and the EU. The Russian-Swedish Forum became a great opportunity for hundreds of project owners and other stakeholders to meet with the purpose of sharing experiences and discussing forms and priorities of the future co-operation. By the end of 2008, the Swedish national financial support of Russian-Swedish projects, provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency SIDA, is to be phased out. The Russian-Swedish Forum was therefore devoted to discussion of the fifteen-year co-operation between Sweden and Russia, prospects for the future, as well as experience exchange in such areas of collaboration as environmental protection, social and health care, democracy and human rights.

In the frames of the Forum the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency SIDA and the City of St. Petersburg signed a new environmental agreement, providing a Swedish grant of appr. EUR 5 million for the upgrading of St. Petersburg Northern Wastewater Treatment Plant. The purpose of this contribution is to reduce the Baltic Sea pollution thus improving the environment in and around the Baltic Sea. The signing ceremony of the agreement gave a perfect start to a debate on environmental co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region.

The Russian-Swedish co-operation at local and regional level was also discussed at the Forum, as well as business development as an integral part of collaboration between Sweden and Russia. Among the speakers were Uno Aldegren, Chairman of the EU Committee of the Regions' Baltic Sea Interregional Group, member of RELEX Commission, Roger Kaliff, Chairman of Kalmar Municipal Council, Konstantin Gimbitsky, CEO of the Association of Municipalities of the Kaliningrad region, as well as Marita Bengtsson, President of Sцrmland Regional Council.

The discussion followed the round-table “EU-Russia cooperation at local and regional level in the context of the new Northern Dimension Policy” organized by the Committee of the Regions, Commission for External Relations and Decentralized Cooperation (RELEX) on 19 September 2007 in Brussels, and the seminar “Interregional cooperation between the European Union and Russia – Functioning tools for Russian and Swedish regions” jointly organized by the Stockholm Region and a number of Russian regions with the support of RELEX on 20 September 2007.

High representatives of the Russian and Swedish Governments, EU representatives and other international actors, as well as hundreds of Russian and Swedish cooperation partners participated in the event. The Forum was inaugurated by the Minister for International Development Cooperation of Sweden Gunilla Carlsson. The Governor of St. Petersburg Valentina Matvienko also participated in the Forum. A meeting between the Minister Gunilla Carlsson and the Governor Valentina Matvienko was held within the bounds of the Forum.

The Russian-Swedish Forum was organized by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency SIDA with the support of the Swedish Institute of Public Administration SIPU and the Stockholm Region Office in St. Petersburg, in collaboration with regional governments of the Northwest Russia.

Source: Stockholm Region Office in St. Petersburg, Pictures: Great Embassy magazine

Northwest Russia: Facts and Events, Issue 99, 2008, week 25

Pskov Region

Capital: Pskov

Area: 55.3 thousand km2

Population: 736 thousand people

The Stockholm Region Office in St. Petersburg in cooperation with the North-West Association continues publishing profiles of 11 regions of the Northwest Russia

The main feature of the geopolitical location of the Pskov Region is its border position. The Pskov Region is the only subject of the Russian Federation having borders with three foreign states: Belarus, Estonia and Latvia. Pskov city is a railway and motorway junction. The main industries here are machine-building, textile and food industries, production of construction materials. The city of Pskov cooperates with 18 foreign partners, including Arles (France), Kuopio (Finland), Mianyang (China), Nijmegen (the Netherlands), Neuss and Gera (Germany), Norrtelje (Sweden), Dalarna County (Sweden), Perth (Scotland), Roanoke (Virginia, USA), Boston (Massachusetts, USA), Valmiera (Latvia), Tartu (Estonia), Bialystok (Poland), Vitebsk (Belarus) and Chernigov (Ukraine). Pskov is a popular tourist destination. Annually Pskov is visited by over 600 thousand tourists.

Natural resources The primary natural resources of the region are timber (reserves of 250 million cu. meters); peat (proven reserves of 2,900 million tons) and raw materials used for the construction industry (ceramic clay, limestone, gypsum, molding sand, sand for glass-manufacture, non-ore construction materials). There is also considerable agricultural activity in the region, primarily in meat and milk production as well as cultivation of flax, potatoes and other vegetables. Industry Industrial enterprises in the region are primarily concentrated in the following industries: electric power production; light industry; machine building and metal-working; timber, wood-processing, pulp and paper production; construction materials; and food-processing. Since Pskov region is close to St. Petersburg, there are many branches of St. Petersburg enterprises in the region, mostly manufacturing, electro-technical and radio-technical goods. The region is a major producer of low-power electric engines for household appliances as well as mechanization and automation devices. The production includes: electronic equipment for cars and trucks; settings for automatic welding of large diameter gas and petroleum lines; and household consumer goods such as irons, refrigerators and tape-recorders.

Investments The administration of Pskov lists the following priority targets for attracting private investment (both Russian and foreign): creation of customs and border infrastructure; development of the transportation infrastructure, including bonded warehouses and a free-trade zone; expansion of the local airport and development of western quality business and tourism services.

Culture and Tourism The Pskov Region is attractive for both Russian and foreign tourists. The region has got a long history, which dates back to the 10th century. The town of Pskov had always been a very important trading and cultural center of Russia. As the region has always been located on the border of Russia, the fortress of Pskov had protected the state for many centuries. The area is rich in different architectural monuments which survived till our days. Both trade and sport hunts are perspective in the Region: 21 wild animal species inhabit the woods, among which there are valuable fur ones – beaver, pine-marten, otter, and European mink.

Contacts: Pskov Region Administration. Tel: +7 (8112) 69-97-58; fax: +7 (8112) 69-98-40;

e-mail: secretar@obladmin.pskov.ruContacts: ru

You can find the detailed information about The Pskov Region on the official website

Northwest Russia: Facts and Events, Issue 99, 2008, week 25 Cooperation: NASDAQ OMX and Planet Capital Investment Group On 16 June Planet Capital Investment Group was approved as the first Russian Certified Advisor for the First North market on the OMX, Nordic Exchange. There are many opportunities opened now for fast growing Russian companies interested to get investments for sustainable business development. This is a new bridge between Russia and Sweden for mutual economic interests. The cooperation between Planet Capital and NASDAQ OMX is an opportunity for Russian companies for private placement followed by an IPO in Stockholm. It allows the Company to attract the same investors in London or other European stock exchanges but at a lower cost. The Scandinavian market has always had better liquidity and less complicated requirements. As the result Russian companies have got an opportunity to get easy and cost effective access to the European and global capital market. Planet Capital and NASDAQ OMX are planning to hold a conference in Stockholm in autumn for mid cap Russian companies for further acquaintance with international capital raising through the exchange.

Contact person: Daria Dimidova, Planet Capital Investment Group, e-mail: Picture:

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