The visit British Prime Minister David Cameron paid to Moscow on Monday, during which he met with President Dmitry Medvedev and prime-minister Vladimir Putin to discuss a number of political and human rights issues, was mainly about improving business ties with this country. He was accompanied by Lord Green, the head of a delegation of 24 British business majors, including BP, British Airways, Ernst & Young, London Stock Exchange, Rolls Royce, Royal Dutch Shell, Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, who signed contracts worth $340 million with their Russian colleagues.
Summing up his discussions with Mr, Cameron president Medvedev said that both countries had more things that unite them than keep them apart, and that differences should not be "overdramatized."
Just one example of the trend the delegation of British business followed was expressed by Medvedev's aide Sergei Prikhodko who said that oil giant BP, even having failed to consummate a deal with state-owned Rosneft earlier this year, is still interested in actively continuing its work in Russia.
The state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom and British industrial giant Rolls-Royce signed a memorandum of understanding about the joint production of computerized control systems for power reactors, part of Moscow's efforts to capture a greater share of the global civilian nuclear power market.
Britain’s Kingfisher Group with its do-it-yourself chain announced that it would invest $182 million to open nine more Castorama outlets over the coming two years, bringing the overall number of stores in Russia to 26.
The services the companies on the delegation provide vary from retail trade to technical and financial support of both domestic and B2B deals.
Nick Baird, chief executive director of Britain’s state trade and investments department visited Moscow’s biggest Luzhniki stadium, offering help from a group of British companies in the process of modernization of this Olympic facility. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Soccer Association, and Wembley and Luzhniki stadiums on the opening of a Centre of Advanced Expertise in managing the Luzhniki stadium in the framework of its preparation for hosting the 2018 World Soccer Championship.
Representatives of London Stock Exchange held a “round table” with 9 Russian companies that have placed their IPOs to the tune of 2.9 billion pounds in the past year.
Company CityUK signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the Moscow authorities on its development as the world’ financial centre.
In the presence of president Medvedev and prime-minister Cameron Lord Green signed a memorandum on cooperation between British universities and the innovation centre Skolkovo with the support of the British Scientific Innovation Network in Moscow. The British department of trade and investments also signed a memorandum of understanding in the area of extension of business contacts and exchange of information aiming at helping British companies to win tenders on modernization of Russian railroads.
Prime Minister Cameron also announced that in September of 2012 a symposium will be held in St.Petersbourg for automaker and pharmaceuticals companies with an interest in doing business in Russia.
All told the deals concluded in Moscow this week would create 500 new jobs in Britain.
British exports to Russia increased 63 percent to ?2.1 billion ($3.3 billion) in the first half of this year. Bilateral trade stands at almost $19 billion and is accelerating, Cameron said.
Britain also agreed to speed up visas for Russian businessmen and Moscow agreed to lift its ban on British beef.
And finally, exports of British commodities grew by 51pct in 2010 to amount to 3.5 billion pounds. The figure for the first half of this year grew by 63%, amounting to 2.1 billion pounds sterling.