The fourth international investment forum, "Moskva-Invest-2001", opened on Wednesday in Berlin. The General Director of the Moscow International Business Association, Alexander Borisov, told RIA Novosti that the previous investment forums had been held in London in 1998, Moscow in 1999 and Tel Aviv last year. When explaining why Berlin had been chosen to host the forum this year, Borisov said that Germany had been Russia's main foreign trade partner since 1997. Trade turnover between the two countries reached 20 billion dollars in 2000. Germany remains Russia's largest creditor and is second only to the USA in terms of direct investment in the Russian economy. Moreover, Germany has experience, after the re-unification of the country, of reforming a socialist economy. In the roughly four years that it has existed, the Moscow International Business association, according to its first vice-president, Moscow government minster Vladimir Malyshkov, has succeeded in attracting 3 billion dollars worth of investment to Russia. In the main this has gone to Moscow. He said that Russians attending the forum will present about 500 new projects. The heads of 18 Russian regions are to take part in the forum, along with the special presidential envoy to the central federal district, Georgy Poltavchenko. Malyshkov stressed that the Russian participants were intending to "give accurate information about the situation in the country and at the same time dispel the negative image of Russia which is still be created by foreign media."
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969