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Russia–USA
25 May 2018
10:15—11:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Trade volume between Russia and the United States is growing despite the sanctions

Strange as it may seem, in January–March, the trade volume between Russia and the US increased by 9.4% year over year, and amounted to $5.2 billion. At the same time, Russian exports increased by 14.3% to $2.6 billion. And imports increased by 4.7% to $2.5 billion. Of course, that’s nothing compared to what we would like to achieve. On the other hand, that is a good indicator. Even in this situation, our volume is increasing — David Iakobachvili, Vice President, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP); President, Orion Heritage LLC.

American delegation to SPIEF is the largest, like before

We are pleased that this year, like in the past, the American delegation at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum is the largest. Which is surprising, if you look at the official statistics on the volume of business investment. It is rather strange how businesses can achieve such results with such small investment — Alexis Rodzianko, President, American Chamber of Commerce in Russia.

Last year more than 140 American companies attended the forum. Now it is just a few dozen. But those are the business leaders who see horizons and prosp — Alexander Pankin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation..

Businesses looking forward to long-term partnership

We have 11 factories in the US; we produce equipment for oil and gas production and we made an important contribution to the ‘shale revolution’. Our share in pipe manufacturing in the US is 25% — Vladimir Shmatovich, Deputy General Director, PJSC Tube Metallurgical Company (TMK)..

Today is the time for those who are committed to a long-term partnership; Boeing has been in Russia for 25 years, and we can’t just cross those years out — Bertrand-Marc Allen, President, Boeing International..

We must not forget that the Silicon Valley’s Russian-speaking community is the third largest. Our guys are the founders of great companies, many Russian programmers work in America, and they work here for American companies. Work in the technological sphere continues — Anatoly Karachinsky, President, IBS Group.

ISSUES
Sanctions and restrictions hinder the development of relations

I don’t recall the times when the relationship between our countries was as bad as it is now, although I remember the Soviet times. You can call it ‘Cold War 2.0’, but I hope that the course may be corrected — James Warlick, Partner, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners.

The draft legislation on responsibility for compliance with the sanctions, discussed in the State Duma raises risks for investors. Russia is a sovereign state and it has the right to adopt the legislation that it deems appropriate. But all the risks need to be considered — Daniel Russell, President, Chief Executive Officer, US–Russia Business Council (USRBC).

Sanctions are counterproductive methods of establishing relations, and sanctions against their own companies can’t be comprehended at all — Aleksandr Moskalenko, Chairman of the Management Board, EPK JSC.

The subject of sanctions does not concern us directly. The timber industry complex is not yet a sphere of change, but the missiles are landing close — Zakhar Smushkin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ilim Group.

Looking at life from the traditional stripes model, I’d say that the black stripes are much brighter. What seemed as a nightmare turned out to be not so nightmarish. The white stripes are gone—that is the reality. The situation today is like the Okudzhava’s song: ‘Few of us are left, us and our pain’ — Victor Vekselberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Renova Group; President, Skolkovo Foundation.

SOLUTIONS
Pragmatism in relations and development of contacts

Pragmatism is what we need. And for the leaders of our countries to communicate — Matthias Berninger, Vice-President for Public Affairs, Mars Incorporated .

History shows that, as a rule, we were able to cope with the global political uncertainty through pragmatism and the ability to look into the future — Ashok Rammohan, President for Affiliates in Russia and Belarus, Philip Morris International (PMI).

Searching for new promising areas of cooperation

Digital agriculture is not a very distant future. In 5 to 10 years it will be a reality, and will become a new page in the history of mankind — Markwart Von Pentz, President, Global Tractor Platform, Deere & Company.

Favorable investment climate

We intend to work in the Russian market for a long time. In order to work in Russia it is necessary to build strong relations and strong friendship. In our business the strong hand of the government is also important. The decision of the Government of the Russian Federation to grant privileges for the purchase of railway cars helped us a lot — Marcus Symington Montenecourt, Vice President, Managing Director for International Affairs, Amsted Rail Company Inc.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS