AFROCOM Discussed Opportunities for Russian Business in Ethiopia and Djibouti

In the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation on Monday, January 24, a meeting of the Russia-Ethiopia-Djibouti forum was held, dedicated to the upcoming business mission to these countries, scheduled for February. The participants of the meeting, organized by the Coordinating Committee for Economic Cooperation with African Countries (AFROCOM), discussed in detail the preparations for the trip and the opportunities to be explored on the spot when visiting Ethiopia and Djibouti.   In his opening speech, a member of the Federation Council, Chairman of AFROCOM Igor Morozov stressed the importance of developing cooperation with these African countries.   The Russian senator said that the visit would be held jointly with the Russian Orthodox Church, which would open a set of cells on the site of the first Russian church mission that arrived in Africa in 1889. The meeting was attended by AFROCOM Executive Director Stanislav Mezentsev.   Director of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Irina Abramova addressed the forum participants with a greeting, recalling the 120-year history of Russia's relations with Ethiopia, which have never been built on the basis of unilateral gain or colonial conquests. According to the scientist, Russia is, as she put it, in the same boat with the countries of Africa and "we should join forces for sustainable development."   Ms.Abramova expressed hope that before the 2nd Russia-Africa Summit, scheduled for 2022, a joint Russia-Ethiopian biological center will be founded.   “The upcoming 2nd Russia-Africa summit will be an event to which we must come with concrete results,” Ms. Abramova noted. The head of the Afrika Institute said that Africa is a promising market for Russia, in which it is important not to lose its positions, to maintain cooperation in the field of technology along with agriculture.   Ethiopia is a young, but large and densely populated country, where 60 percent of the population is under 25, Abramova said. "These countries are the key to the discovery of the African continent," the Corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences believes.   Director of the Department of External Relations of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation Alexander Kopkov said in his speech that Africa is a promising direction for Russian business and it is necessary to unite efforts, improve the quality of information exchange, and encourage fellow businessmen to develop cooperation with Africa. For its part, A. Kopkov said, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation is ready to lend a shoulder and a hand to help work in Africa.   Russian Ambassador to Ethiopia Yevgeny Terekhin, participating in the forum via videoconference, noted the positive changes taking place in this country, the growing investment attractiveness. The prevailing perception of Ethiopia as a country where war and devastation reigns, civil conflicts occur, speaks of the poor awareness of Russian business, which should be developed, the head of the Russian diplomatic mission emphasized. As an example, he cited the possibility of exporting flowers from Ethiopia to Russia, which is now carried out mainly through the Netherlands.   Russian Ambassador to Djibouti Mikhail Golovanov drew the attention of the forum participants to the attractiveness of this country in terms of its geopolitical position. He pointed out that 12 per cent of the world's maritime traffic takes place through the ports of Djibouti. Every year this country receives 33 thousand ships and provides ample opportunities for operators. The country has created good conditions for business activities, built high-tech offices and warehouses, built the first fully electrified railway in Africa with a length of 750 kilometers, which connects Djibouti and Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.   Ethiopian Ambassador to Russia Alemayehu Tegenu thanked AFROCOM for its support and cooperation and expressed hope for further joint work. The speech of the representative of the Embassy of Djibouti in Moscow was devoted to the tourist attractiveness of this country and its extraordinary natural sites. She said that foreign banks are widely represented in Djibouti and fixed exchange rates have been established that have not changed for many years, a developed system of ports and container terminals has been created that connect the countries of Europe, Asia and the Middle East.   Elena Konstantinova, Ethiopian Airlines Senior Sales and Marketing Manager, introduced the largest airline in Africa, which has been recognized as the best on the continent for many years, to the forum participants. Ethiopian Airlines operates scheduled flights from Moscow's Domodedovo Airport four times a week and the flight lasts eight hours, a representative for the airline said. Ethiopian Airlines also serves as a carrier to other African destinations with a distribution hub in Addis Ababa, Elena Konstantinova informed.   Ashalyu Tadesse Mechesso, Director of the Ethiopian Commission for Investment Promotion,  Wobi Mengistu, Deputy Secretary General of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce, Adugna Debela, General Secretary of Ethiopian Association of Coffee and Tea, Yusuf Musa Davale, Representative of the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce, Yusuf Musa Dawale, Director of the National Tourism Authority of Djibouti, Osman Abdi Mohamad, also made presentations.    By Peter Cheremushkin, Press Service of the Chamber

The Russian-Emirates Business Council (REBC) Summed Up the Results of 2021

In Moscow, at the Library of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday, January 20, a meeting of the Russian-Emirates Business Council dedicated to the results of 2021 was held. The participants of the meeting, which was chaired by the Chairman of the Russian-Emirates Business Council, Chairman of the Management Board of Rosgeo Joint-Stock Company Sergey Gorkov, discussed the tasks and directions of activity for 2022.   The head of the Council noted that the main direction in its activities should be not only communication between businesses, but also the accumulation of solutions for subsequent implementation. Sergey Gorkov called certification of products on the UAE market one of the priority tasks.   In his opening remarks, Alexander Kopkov, Director of the Foreign Relations Department of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that Russia’s trade with the United Arab Emirates continues to grow even despite the pandemic restrictions. In 2020, it reached US$3.3 billion. The “breakthrough” growth of trade turnover is based on a favorable market situation for Russian exports, the basis of which is still products of the fuel and energy complex.   According to Alexander Kopkov, it is about the need for joint efforts to diversify the structure of trade, build up cooperation in other non-resource areas.   In addition to refined products, we can talk about the development of industrial cooperation. IT technologies, medicine, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, robotics, aviation - in these and other areas, Russia also has something to offer, emphasized the Director of the Department of External Relations of the Chamber.   “In our opinion, there are good prospects for increasing food supplies. Emirates imports about 80% of all necessary food. At the same time, in the structure of our exports for 2020, the share of food products amounted to only 8%. Obviously, there are good opportunities for representatives of small and medium-sized businesses,” A. Kopkov emphasized.   Alexei Busev, Executive Director of the Russian-Emirates Business Council, presented a report on REBC activities. He noted that the priority areas of REBC activity are information technology and innovation, investment and finance, food and agro-industrial sector, industry, high technology, oil and gas industry, geological exploration, tourism and hospitality sector. The tasks of the council include promoting the interests of Russian business in the UAE markets, increasing the export of Russian goods and services to the UAE market.   In 2021, 5 industry-specific REBC meetings were held on agriculture and food, IT and innovation, the tourism and hospitality sector, restaurant business, oilfield services and IT. Partnerships have been established between a number of companies and financial centers, business missions have been carried out in the UAE of the Altai Territory, Kirov and Novogorodskaya Oblasts. Conducted business missions in Russia “Week of the Emirate of Sharjah in Russia and the business mission of the industrial zone KIZAD (Abu Dhabi). Round tables and seminars were held on the issues of export and doing business in the UAE in the Arkhangelsk, Tyumen, and Orenburg regions. At the meeting, a presentation of the b2b-market place "Business Navigator-Russia-UAE" was held, which was presented by Yulia Suvorova and CIO of "Rosgeologiya" Pavel Solovyov.   Following the results of the general meeting of members of the Russian-Emirates Business Council, a report on the activities of REBC was approved. Yulia Suvorova, Head of the Project Office of the Office of the Director General of Rosgeo JSC, was approved as the Executive Secretary of the Russian-Emirates Business Council.   By Peter Cheremushkin, Press Service of the Chamber 

Vice President of the Chamber Hosted the Agricultural Delegation of Iran

Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation Vladimir Padalko met on Friday, December 24, with a delegation from the Islamic Republic of Iran led by Deputy Minister of Agricultural Jihad Mohammad Mehdi Borumandi.   During the conversation, which had a lively and frank character on the problems of bilateral trade, the sides expressed their readiness to remove the barriers that arise. This, in particular, concerned the restrictions imposed by Rospotrebnadzor on the supply of certain types of agricultural goods from Iran.   “We need to exchange standards and give the regulatory authorities an opportunity to be guided by them and no longer raise this issue,” said Vladimir Padalko. The Iranian representative said that his side is fully prepared for the exchange of standards between supervising bodies.   The opinion was expressed to use more actively the sea route when delivering goods from Iran to Russia.  The Iranian side offered to invest in the construction of a port in Makhachkala (Dagestan), which could receive supplies from Iran. “The shipment of goods by sea should be our priority,” Iranian officials said. They also discussed the obstacles arising during the transit of Iranian goods to Russia through Azerbaijan.    An increase in trade between Russia and Iran was noted, which in January-September amounted to $ 2.9 billion. Agriculture plays an important role in the development of bilateral cooperation, stressed Vladimir Padalko. The deputy minister called Russia a "friendly and neighboring country", relations with which are gaining new development, especially now, when a new cabinet of ministers has come to power in Iran and a new president has been elected. The Iranian official noted the high quality of agricultural products of his country, thanks to the natural conditions.   "The peculiarity of Iran is such a geographical latitude that allows not to use pesticides," the deputy minister said. According to him, the color and taste of the products are at the highest level.   Mohammad Mehdi Borumandi expressed regret over the restrictions imposed by Rospotrebnadzor on the supply of Iranian agricultural products to Russia, primarily red pepper. In this regard, the Iranian representative suggested inviting an inspection, which could check the quality of the manufactured products on the spot.   The deputy minister stressed that the Iranian side is striving to overcome these obstacles as soon as possible, and also expressed interest in Russian investments.   The Iranian side made a proposal to hold a meeting of representatives of the Chambers of Commerce of the two countries, where it would be possible to study the requirements of Russian laws for the supplied products, including vegetables and fruits, and develop a plan for joint trade. In this regard, Vladimir Padalko suggested that such meetings-seminars be devoted to training of Iranian entrepreneurs in the correct execution of customs and other Russian documents, in particular, accompanying certificates.   Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of the Russian-Iranian Business Council Vladimir Obydenov expressed his readiness to participate in solving emerging problems. He noted the contribution of the Council not only to the search for trade partners for business, but also to the growth of trade between the two countries. Vladimir Obydenov expressed the opinion that the only obstacle to the council's activities is the COVID-19 pandemic.   The meeting was attended by deputies of the Iranian Majlis, employees of the Iranian Embassy in Russia.   By Peter Cheremushkin, Press Service of the Chamber

The Regional Office of the Chamber in ASEAN Opened in Jakarta

On December 21, at the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, was opened a regional office of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The presentation of the opening was held by videoconference, which was moderated from Moscow by the Vice President of the  Chamber Vladimir Padalko.   Sergey Katyrin, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, addressed the participants of the video conference with a welcoming speech.   In his address, he called the opening of a representative office of the Chamber in the region a deliberate, verified and timely step that corresponds with the development of the global economy. “The vector of business activity in the world is shifting towards Asia and, at the same time, the economic importance of the top ten countries is growing. It is in Southeast Asia where production, trade, financial-investment and logistics routes intersect, decisions that are significant for the global economics are made,” Sergey Katyrin said.   Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Indonesia Lyudmila Vorobyova, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to ASEAN Alexander Ivanov, Head of the Committee for Relations with Russia and the CIS of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (CADIN) Dadit Ratam also addressed the participants in the opening ceremony.   The participants were addressed by the regional representative of the Chamber in the ASEAN Vitaly Stogov, the trade representative of Russia in Indonesia Sergey Rossomakhov, the director of the department for market integration of the ASEAN Secretariat Le Quang Lan.   The speakers spoke about the development of trade and economic ties between the Russian and business circles of the ASEAN countries, as well as the prospects for interaction with Indonesia. The activity of the Representative Office will be aimed at rendering assistance to the members of the Russian Chamber in the development of relations with foreign partners in the ASEAN countries.   By Peter Cheremushkin, Press Service of the Chamber

Vice President Padalko: The CIS Chambers Have Proven Their Special Role Over the 30 Years

"Over the past thirty years, the Chamber of Commerce has retained its function and developed into a powerful structure that provides services to entrepreneurs." This was stated by the vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation Vladimir Padalko, speaking at the meeting of the heads of the chambers of the CIS countries on December 17 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the chairmanship of the Republic of Belarus in the CIS.   “It is gratifying to note our unity,” said the Vice President of the Chamber, addressing the conference participants via video communication.   In general, the statistics showed the resilience of the CIS economies to external shocks. The volume of trade in the Commonwealth increased by almost 27 percent in the first half of the year. In the first nine months of this year, trade between Russia and the CIS countries amounted to 67.6 billion US dollars and increased by 28 percent.   Vladimir Padalko called on the heads of the chambers of commerce and industry of the CIS countries to establish closer cooperation in the International Federation of Chambers of Commerce and work in this organization all together. He also asked to support Russia's application for holding the EXPO-2030 exhibition in Moscow.   The vice-president of the Russian Chamber noted the increasing role of Business Councils in cooperation between countries, calling them a comprehensive toolkit. He said that the Russian side is ready to share best practices in the development of public services markets. Vladimir Padalko proposed to popularize the activities of the chambers of the CIS countries and expand the collection published by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation on the industrial potential of Russia, adding there the CIS countries.   The meeting, chaired by the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Belarus Vladimir Ulakhovich, was devoted to summing up the results of the integration processes that have taken place over the past 30 years.   The chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan Adham Ikramov, acting Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Armenia Karen Ivanov, Chairman of the Board of the Foreign Trade Chamber of Kazakhstan Ayan Erenov, Senior Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Kyrgyz Republic Roman Kasymov, Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova Natalia Kalenik, First Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Kyrgyz Republic Industrial Chamber of the Republic of Tajikistan Nasim Anvarov, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan Dovletgeldi Rejepov.   By Peter Cheremushkin, Press Service of the Chamber

The Annual Forum "VI Russian-Singapore Business Dialogue"

The annual forum "VI Russian-Singapore Business Dialogue" was held on December 17 by the Russian-Singapore Business Council (RSBC) with the support of the State Corporation "Rostech".   The forum was opened by Nikolay Volobuev, Chairman of the Russian-Singapore Business Council. He noted that, despite the limitations associated with the pandemic, a communication format has been found that allows discussing pressing problems and determining the vector of movement in cooperation between Russian and Singaporean business circles.   Nikolai Volobuev recalled that the Council was created 12 years ago on the initiative of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation with the support of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the State Corporation "Rostech" for the development of economic, political and cultural contacts, in order to increase the volume of trade in high-tech products between the EAEU and ASEAN.   Mr.Volobuev noted that these days in Singapore, for the third time, the Week of Russian Cinema, organized by the Council, is being held with great success, which shows the growth of interest in Russian culture in the region. And thanks to cultural contacts, trust in each other in business is also strengthened.   The Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia Vladimir Padalko agreed with this statement, emphasizing that it is the richest culture that distinguishes Russia, it brings together and allows solving the most complex issues of the development of bilateral relations.   According to the Vice President of the Chamber, Russian-Singaporean business ties are developing. Thus, according to the results of 3 quarters of 2021, the growth of mutual trade turnover amounted to more than 40%, Russian exports increased by 58%, and Singapore's imports to Russia - by 8.7%. Mr. Padalko stressed that among all 76 business councils at the Chamber and the Council takes one of the leading places.   The business dialogue was held in a mixed format through a teleconference - at the site of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation in Moscow and at the Center for Foreign Promotion of Russian High-Tech Companies and Presentation of Investment Projects of the RSBC in Singapore. The meeting was attended by representatives of large and medium-sized enterprises, investment funds, public and scientific organizations, heads of state bodies and municipal authorities, representatives of Russian regions, countries of Southeast Asia and the European Union.   A cooperation agreement was signed between the ANO Consortium Medical Technology, the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO RAN) and the ASEAN Center at MGIMO of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then there were plenary sessions on a wide range of topics, within the framework of which there were presentations of investment projects of Russian regions and targeted Asian funds, a technology fair, cultural and educational parts, as well as a meeting of the youth section.   The business dialogue was streamed online: https://youtu.be/Eromuq3p76Q   Press Service of the Chamber  

The President of the Chamber Met with His Mongolian Counterpart

The Chamber hosted a meeting between the President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sergei Katyrin and the President of the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Mongolia Otgondavaa Amartuvshin. The conversation took place on December 17 at the sidelines of the official visit of Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh to Russia.   At his opening remarks Sergei Katyrin expressed confidence that the official visit of the President of Mongolia was successful. And the chambers of commerce and industry will have to contribute to the further development of economic ties between the two countries.   “Traditionally, we will focus on interregional ties. They really give a great return - contracts are concluded, joint projects are implemented, interaction between companies is being established. Moreover, we must first of all help small and medium-sized companies find each other,” said Sergey Katyrin.   According to him, one should not forget about exhibition activities. The subsidiary organization of the Russian Chamber - Expocentre - is quickly restoring the volume of its work and is opened to new projects.   Otgondavaa Amartuvshin confirmed that the interaction of the chambers of commerce and industry plays an important role in expanding economic ties between the two countries. One of the largest joint projects in the near future is the holding of the United Trade and Economic Forum of Russia, China and Mongolia. Its main theme will be the expansion of the economic corridor between the three countries, including the development of gas pipeline infrastructure, roads and railways. The forum is scheduled to be held next year in Mongolia.   Another topical issue is the training of the staff of the chamber, who are engaged in international trade and foreign economic activity. The pandemic has shown, Otgondavaa Amartuvshin admitted, that Mongolia has lagged behind in this area. The closure of its borders by the country's main trading partner, China, forced Mongolia to reconsider its work in the markets of other countries.   Another aspect of the joint work of chambers of commerce and industry is the development of trade and economic ties between Mongolia and the border regions of Russia. And here it is important to resume the project to create a joint laboratory for the examination of Mongolian goods. This would help promote products from the country on the Russian market, Otgondavaa Amartuvshin emphasized.   The President noted that the Chamber is ready to support Mongolian counterparts, for instance, to accept Mongolian colleagues for training. It is only necessary to decide in what areas and where the training will take place. One of the options is that an internship can also be carried out in regional Chambers, which actively cooperate with Mongolia.   The meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Chamber of Mongolia Tumenjargal Duuren, Chairman of the Chamber of the Republic of Tyva Ayas Monge, Director of the Department of External Relations of the Chamber of Russia Alexander Kopkov.   Press Service of the Russian Chamber