TRIESTE, Italy — Russia and Italy hope that bilateral trade will reach $50 billion this year, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday after talks in Trieste with the Italian prime minister.
"Italy is fourth among Russia's largest trade partners," Putin said. "Bilateral trade has been growing. This year, despite problems in the global and European economy, it will grow by another 24 percent. I think it will reach or even exceed the $50 billion mark."
Bilateral trade last year totaled $45.8 billion. It grew 24 percent in January through September this year.
Putin said Russia's investment in Italy over the past four years quadrupled to $500 million, while Italy's investment in Russia grew to $1 billion.
Putin said Russia and Italy will also establish a joint investment fund managing $1.4 billion.