12 september 2011

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with British Prime Minister David Cameron

Vladimir Putin noted that last year Britain was Russia’s leading trade and economic partner in terms of current investments. However, he also highlighted the unfortunate fact that investment in the real economy remains modest.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, esteemed colleagues, welcome once again. We are very happy to see you. This is the first visit of a British prime minister to Russia in the last five years.

I would like to say that our trade and economic relations are making headway. Last year trade increased by 25%, and in the first half of this year it rose by another 50%. Last year Britain was our biggest trade and economic partner in terms of current investments. I think they reached almost $40 billion, although investment in the real economy still remains modest. In any event, Britain is our long-term trade and economic partner and we have what to talk about. We are very glad to see you. Welcome.

David Cameron: Well, thank you very much for that welcome. I think this is a good opportunity for Britain and Russia to try to build a stronger relationship. I’ve had very good meetings today with the president and with other politicians, and it’s good to have this opportunity today. I agree with you: I think the economic relationship in recent years has grown considerably, particularly in terms of the inward investment into both our countries and also the import and export of goods.

Obviously there are many things on the economic front that we can discuss, such as the World Trade Organisation, the cooperation I think we can have on the issue of the Olympics – both our Olympics next year and the Sochi Winter Olympics. I think there’s some good progress we can make on technology imports and exports and investment, and I’ve brought with me today a big delegation of British business, from the very largest to the to very smallest – all with an interest in expanding their trade with Russia. So thank you again for finding the time for this meeting today.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, I know, one of my deputies, Mr Shuvalov (first deputy prime minister) is holding a meeting with British business people right now. I hope this meeting will be a success and will give our business people an opportunity to discuss a whole range of issues of mutual interest.