The Russian Economic Development Ministry has signed a first eight agreements to help Russian companies abroad.
Economic Development Minister Andrei Belousov on Friday signed cooperation agreements with the Mechel coal and steel group, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), electricity exporter Inter RAO Export, MMC Norilsk Nickel, aluminum giant UC Rusal, power engineering firm Power Machines, car maker Avtovaz and the Renova Group of Companies.
Belousov said these were the first but not the last Russian companies that his ministry would help promote and protect their interests abroad. He said the ministry was overhauling its foreign economic division, primarily trade missions, which would be geared towards the global promotion of Russian companies and goods on the global markets. These missions will support projects by companies in countries where they have their own interests, Belousov said.
The ministry is "prepared to work with any major companies with clear plans for operating on the world market," Belousov said.
But Belousov said he was talking about mainly non-oil and non-gas companies which he said had enough representation abroad and opportunity to defend their own interests as it is. "We need to diversify exports," he said. That's why agreements have been signed with companies from the machine-building, aircraft construction, and metals sectors, which currently need support.
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