The city of Hamburg is interested in continuing to develop ties with Saint Petersburg and the North West Federal District as a whole. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced today by Burgermeister of Hamburg Ole Von Beust after his meeting with Presidential Plenipotentiary of the North West Federal District Valentina Matvienko. He told journalists that he had spoken with Ms Matvienko about the opening of the representative office of the Hamburg port in Saint Petersburg.
He said 'the ports of Saint Petersburg and Hamburg have been collaborating for a long time.' Moreover, the German port is trying to work more closely with other ports in the Leningrad Region. Mr Von Beust pointed out that Hamburg is taking part in the construction of a container terminal in Ust-Luga.
The main functions of the new office will be to encourage greater collaboration between Russian and German companies, to expand current transportation capacities and to coordinate logistics for the distribution of Russian goods on the world market. A dramatic increase in the level of trade turnover between the Russian and German ports was the main reason for opening a representative office in Saint Petersburg. 20.6% of all the German port's transportation operations are carried out with the Baltic States and Russia. Hamburg port (one of the largest in Europe) currently has 14 representative offices in different European, Asian and American cities. The new office in Saint Petersburg will be located at the House of German Economy on Bolshoi Prospect, 10, Vasilievsky Island.
Another potential area of cooperation is science and education. An agreement of cooperation was signed yesterday between the Law Faculty of Saint Petersburg State University and the University of Hamburg. Also, Mr Von Beust believes that the cultural sphere is also very important and the Hamburg delegation will present the Philharmonic Hall with a Steinway concert piano.
He said that relations between Saint Petersburg and Hamburg 'are a reflection of developing Russian-German relations.'