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Friday, May 30, 2008

Ruhrgas chief highlights importance of St. Petersburg forum

ESSEN (Germany), May 29 (RIA Novosti) - The head of E.ON Ruhrgas AG, Bernhard Reutersberg, said on Thursday that the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, to be held on June 6-8 this year, is an important venue for making informal business contacts. "Informal meetings at such forums are very important for strengthening ties between companies," the head of German utilities group E.ON's natural gas subsidiary said. The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is an annual event held with the support of the Russian president, bringing together politicians and business leaders. "As I will be taking part in the forum for the first time, I find it hard to compare with other similar events. But one thing is clear - the existence of such an ‘economic club' benefits foreign entrepreneurs," he said. E.ON AG, the world's largest investor-owned energy service provider, has close ties with Russian energy giant Gazprom. It is also Gazprom's largest foreign shareholder, with a 6.5% stake. "We have a long and intensive history of cooperation with Gazprom, and hope to develop it in the future," Reutersberg said. The CEO said he looks forward to hearing a speech to be delivered at the forum by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Gazprom's former board chairman. The St. Petersburg economic forum traditionally gathers presidents, heads of governments, parliaments and ministers from many countries, and also the international business elite and the chief editors of the world's major mass media and prominent experts. Russian news agency RIA Novosti is the general information sponsor of the forum.

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