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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New State Agency to Push Investment Outside Capital

The Moscow regional administration announced the creation Monday of an agency aimed at attracting foreign and domestic investment to the area outside the capital.

Established with aid from Germany, the Regional Economic Development Agency -- which organizers said was the first government-sponsored body of its kind -- intends to provide a "friendly atmosphere" to assist potential investors in navigating legal and technical hurdles, said its director, Alexander Kulikov.

"Our consultants will work closely with investors helping them to learn the local rules of the game and avoid bureaucracy," he added.

The agency will provide free help to companies with the registration process and other necessary paperwork, finding premises and hiring personnel, he said.

The fully state-owned Russian agency is backed by about 1 million German marks committed by the German government.

"We are helping not only with the money but also with our experience that we had acquired when attracted investment into Eastern Germany," said Manfred Gaulhofer, head of Gaulhofer & Partner consulting company that works with the REDA.

The agency is working on nine investment projects worth $150 million, including a Swedish company that would build a can-producing plant and a German company about a furniture factory.