President Mary McAleese has said a rigorous system of regulation is needed in order to avoid the extremes of future economic boom and bust.

On day four of her Russian visit, the President addressed students at the St Petersburg University of Economics and Finance, where she said the international economic crisis has led to a dwindling of confidence in financial systems.

She said it had long been argued that heavy regulation was not the most conducive environment for business yet light regulation, as we now know to our cost, was a recipe for trouble.

The President said to avoid the extremes of boom and bust in the future, we need professionals who are hard wired to behave ethically.

President McAleese also said legal academics and economists must be more transparent if a more ethically driven economy is to be supported.

She said those in the professions had engaged in deliberately impenetrable transactions and said they need to make their dealings more open to effective regulation.

Export deals worth €9m signed in Russia

Minister for Trade & Commerce Billy Kelleher has announced that deals for new export sales worth over €9m were signed by Irish firms during this week's trade mission in Russia.

The mission was timed to coincide with President Mary McAleese's official visit.

30 leading Irish firms were represented on the mission organised by Enterprise Ireland.

The firms came from sectors including engineering, construction, food and drink, education, business services and information communications technology.

Irish high-tech firms Digisoft, Adaptive Mobile, OpenJaw and Norkom Technologies were among those that landed lucrative new sales deals.

Trinity College Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology also announced partnership agreements with higher education institutions in Russia.

Irish exports to Russia grew by over 66% in the first five months of this year.

Ireland is the seventh largest provider of foreign direct investment to Russia - ahead of the US and Japan.