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U.S. trade chief to visit St. Petersburg economic forum

By RIA Novosti,

Washington : The U.S. Secretary of Commerce will head the American delegation at June 6-8 St. Petersburg international economic forum, a spokesman for the U.S. trade ministry said on Wednesday.

Carlos Gutierrez, 55, will become the first member of the U.S. Cabinet to visit Russia since Dmitry Medvedev became president on May 7.

During his two-day visit, Gutierrez is also expected to meet with members of the Russian government to discuss bilateral trade relations. In 2007, U.S. trade with Russia reached $7.3 billion, a 56% increase year-on-year.

On June 7, Gutierrez is to deliver a speech before the participants and guests of the St. Petersburg economic forum. The forum, to be attended by the Russian president, brings together politicians and business leaders.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti is the general information sponsor of the forum.

In an official statement, Gutierrez said that the modernization of Russia’s economy and high GDP growth have made the Russian market important for U.S. products and services.

Prior to his trip to Russia, Gutierrez will visit neighboring Ukraine on June 4-5. This will be the first official visit by a U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the country since 1991.