10 Nov 2010 10:37

Trade between Russia, S.Korea reaches pre-crisis level - Medvedev

SEOUL. Nov 10 (Interfax) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said that bilateral investment between Russia and South Korea will increase each year.

Trade between the two countries has virtually reached the pre-crisis level, totaling around $11 billion in the first half of 2010, Medvedev said at the third Russian-Korean business forum in Seoul on Wednesday.

"On the one hand, this is good, but on the other, we understand this is little," he said.

The figure is quite far from those reflecting trade between South Korea and countries like the United States, Japan and China, which amount to hundreds of billions of dollars, he said.

"There is space for us to grow. Closing this gap certainly depends primarily on those who are present in this hall. I hope that trade and investment will increase each year," the Russian president said.

The current structure of bilateral trade remains quite vulnerable to crises, he said. Two-thirds of Russian exports to South Korea are mineral commodities and petroleum products, Medvedev said. "Of course, we will continue to supply these types of goods, but nevertheless we should seek to diversify our cooperation," he said.

Russia is keen to attract Korean investors who not only invest their money and create new jobs, "but also, and that is the most important thing today, bring modern technologies and implement a modern production culture," Medvedev said.

The Russian president took the opportunity and invited all Korean businessmen present in the hall to visit Russian business platforms, including the international economic forum due to be held in St. Petersburg in June 2011.