By Daniel Hunter

Business Secretary Vince Cable today (Monday) called for British firms to pursue new exporting opportunities in Russia, as he hosted a business summit with Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.

Russia is already one of Britain’s fastest growing export markets and trade is expected to grow further in the coming years.

Commercial announcements made at today’s UK-Russia Intergovernmental Steering Committee on trade and investment, held in London, include:

- Manufacturing firm Tensar to build a plant in St Petersburg in a £12m project, helping to safeguard more than 150 jobs in Blackburn, Lancashire

- Construction firm Stoneguard to build a waste processing facility in Novosibirsk, in a project worth around £60m

- Co-operation agreement signed between UK Export Finance and Russia’s Export Credit Agency (EXIAR)

“Britain’s trade with Russia is rapidly expanding and the opportunities will only continue to grow as its economy opens up further to trade and investment," Business Secretary Vince Cable said.

“Important steps like Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation earlier this year are making it easier for UK firms to do business there.

“We look forward to working closely with Russia to further develop new opportunities, delivering real economic results for both countries.”

Russia is now the UK’s 14th biggest export market and is one of the fastest growing, with British exports having grown 39% in 2011 to £4.78bn.

During the summer, the British Business Embassy in London promoted business opportunities for UK firms at major upcoming sporting events including the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 World Cup, both to be hosted by Russia.

Already this year, examples of deals between Russian and British firms include:

- Shell has opened a lubricants oil blending plant in Tver, the first such plant built by an international oil company in Russia, in an investment worth over £60m.

- Imperial College London has signed a collaborative research agreement with the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis, supported by the Skolkovo Foundation, for the development of the Centre of applied research for heat exchange intensification. Imperial Consultants, the College’s knowledge transfer and consultancy company, is coordinating an Industry Engagement Programme as part of this, facilitating interaction between Russian businesses and the researchers.

- In September, Sberbank — Russia’s largest bank — listed on the London Stock Exchange. This was the Exchange’s fourth largest ever international listing.

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