Russia seeks U.S. help in modernizing

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev works in his study at the Gorki residence outside Moscow.

TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The Russian economy has boomed over the past decade. But American firms have been slow to take advantage. The White House says U.S. trade with Russia is about the same as with Thailand -- a country with an economy a fifth of the size of Russia's.

But as Peter van Dyk reports from Moscow, things may finally be on the move.


PETER VAN DYK: Russia's commodity-based economy was hit hard by the financial crisis. To fix that, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev preaches a simple economic mantra -- modernize, modernize, modernize. To help achieve that Russia is reaching out to the U.S.

MICHELLE O'NEILL: With respect to the economic relationship, things have never been as good as they are right now.

Michelle O'Neill of the Commerce Department says Russian firms want more hi-tech goods from U.S. companies. She led a delegation of aerospace business leaders to Russia this week.

O'NEILL: When we first started talking to the Russian government about the types of companies we should bring to Russia to broaden and deepen the commercial and trade relationship, aviation was at the top of their list and certainly at the top of our list.

Last month, Boeing signed a $3.7 billion contract to supply 50 planes to Russia and although no deals were clinched this week, executives on the trip expect these first contacts to produce concrete results soon.

In Moscow, I'm Peter van Dyk for Marketplace.

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