Italy wants to invest in Russia, and vice versa. In early April, 900 Italian entrepreneurs flew to Moscow hoping to strike a deal, the largest foreign business mission yet organized by the Italian government.
Vice president of the Italy's Confindustria, Paolo Zegna, believes that in order to survive the troubling economic crisis, the country's business leaders must look ‘above and beyond it'.
President of the Confindustria, Emma Marcegalia, led the three-day tour from Moscow to Saint Petersburg, Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk, and back to Moscow for the business forum. (Italian premier Silvio Berlusioni, scheduled to participate, cancelled when the massive earthquake struck the Abruzzo region on April 7.)
A number of important deals were made, including mergers and acquisitions in the oil and gas and technology sectors. The largest deal was secured by the Italian energy company Eni, which sold a 20 percent stake in the Russian oil giant Gazprom Neft. Worth $4.1 billion, the stocks were bought by the Russian-owned firm Gazprom.