June 16th, 2011
05:36 PM GMT
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The Russian government is trying to woo the world as it seeks to increase foreign investment into the country.

In an attempt to diversify from the oil and gas industries, the country is putting money behind investing in new companies.

CNN’s John Defterios reports on the initiative from the St Petersberg International Economic Forum.

June 16th, 2011
01:39 PM GMT
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(CNN) – What is the worst job in the world? Just how low would you go to earn money?

During the worst of the economic crisis in Zimbabwe, it would break my heart to hear stories of teachers or doctors who were working as street cleaners or janitors in South Africa. They had made a decision to work in menial jobs away from home because these jobs paid more.

The situation has somewhat improved but many educated Zimbabweans continue to work in jobs they are overqualified for in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

They are not alone.

The higher rates of unemployment across the world, from the United States to Dubai to Harare, are forcing some educated professionals to swallow their pride and get their hands dirty.

For some, that means taking any job to get by. For others, it just means taking a pay cut or working two jobs.

For many Zimbabweans any job is a good job. At the height of the economic crisis the official employment rate in the formal economy was around 6%, according to some reports.  Most people earned money in the informal economy ­by hawking, trading or bartering.

It is no surprise, then, that when a local newspaper, Newsday, reminded readers that the post of “hangman” at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison was still vacant it said it was inundated with queries from readers interested in the job. The previous hangman reportedly quit in 2005.

When I was in Zimbabwe recently, I read Newsday readers’ responses with interest. One said: “I read the story of a hangman’s job in your paper, please help me I really need that job. How do I apply?”

Another “desperate job seeker” wrote: “Why not take up the job? It’s just a job like any other. There is no difference even with a soldier, as I will simply be exercising my duties.”

Others asked for more details on what qualifications were needed to be a hangman.

The paper wrote that a job description for the post of Chikurubi prison hangman included, “dexterity, ability to tie a knot, hard heart and anyone prone to mercy or hesitation need not apply.”

June 16th, 2011
12:00 PM GMT
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Stanislav Voskresensky, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, talks about the future of Russia's economy.

He says that although some of the factors that provided high growth rates in the past have gone, he was "betting" on new factors, like investment, infrastructure projects and increased productivity to grow the economy.

He added that Russia's economy will be diversified further and that the country's infrastrucure was more advanced than that of China and India.

"Our (infrastructure projects) is more about modernization than building new things," Voskresensky said.

CNN's John Defterios also asked him about the government's plans to privatize 900 companies.

"We are hiring investment bankers to help us... it is important how we do it and not how many," Voskresensky said.

Filed under: BusinessRussian economic forum

June 16th, 2011
11:40 AM GMT
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Austrian President Heinz Fischer talks about his country's relationship with Russia.

Fischer said: "I know some European countries, because of ther history, are very suspicious vis-à-vis Russia, (but) we have a trustful relationship and we believe it can be expanded economically, politically and strategically."

He says Russia's infrastructure needs development, including the health services, tourism and the energy sector.

Fischer also said it would be better if Russia was a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).



June 16th, 2011
11:20 AM GMT
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The State Hermitage Museum is synonymous with St. Petersburg, playing an important cultural and economic role in the Russian city often called the Venice of the North.

Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the museum, said: "This is a great symbol of culture and Russian history.

"Economy of culture is a very import part of the world culture and the economy of the city, we bring a lot of tourists here."

June 16th, 2011
08:53 AM GMT
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