In the EAEU we aim to build dialogue with regional integration organizations. We had our first memorandum signed between the EAEU and the Andes Community, the oldest organization in Latin America. Last year, we signed an agreement with MERCOSUR and the one with the Pacific Alliance is coming soon — Tatyana Valovaya, Member of the Board – Minister in Charge of Integration and Macroeconomics, Eurasian Economic Commission .
We should open up for Russia, as well as for any market that comes to us. We open up to China, Asia, we are setting sights towards the Pacific. I think this all makes up new economic policy today, that is unraveling worldwide — Martha Delgado Peralta, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of the United Mexican States.
We are very interested in the EAEU connections. There are 183 million people – a huge share of the global population, and a very economically active share. 90% of the population have Internet access, not to mention other numbers that characterize this economy. So, our motto is this: public-private partnership, more external communications, and closer proximity with the EAEU — Carlos Trujillo Garcia, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia.
The total worth of our projects in Cuba exceeds EUR 200 million. We have gone half the way already: we delivered 45 locomotives, together we are building a servicing facility for the locomotives. <…> Next year we will open offices in Argentina. We are in talks with Mexico, Uruguay, Paraguay, and we are hopeful about Columbia — Anton Zubikhin, General Director, Trading House STM.
Overall, Russia imports over 9 million tonnes of fertilizer to Latin America, which is worth around USD 3.5 billion – an enormous number. Our company alone imports nearly 2 million tonnes — Sergey Pronin, Deputy General Director for Sales and Marketing, PhosAgro; Member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.
It appears to me that the customs regulations in Latin America are very conservative. We cannot clear our fertilizers through customs on our own, which ultimately makes them more expensive for the consumer. It is particularly so in case of Argentina: huge market, but effectively least accessible for us — Sergey Pronin, Deputy General Director for Sales and Marketing, PhosAgro; Member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.
We have a great working relationship, yet our exporters face competition within MERCOSUR. It is hard to compete with Argentina, another big producer of grain. When we export grain to Latin America, we have to pay duty on our grain, whereas Argentina does not have to — Yuliya Koroleva, Director, Centre for Grain Quality Assurance.
There is another obstacle [that impedes direct trade between Russia and Barbuda, – Ed.] – transport connections between Russia and the Carribean. First, we need to strengthen these connections, both marine and aerial, to improve commerce — Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.
I suppose another downside is that we are not integrated in the life of these regions. To compare: we worked in Russia for 20 years, we have offices in nearly each of those regions, and we are a part of life there. In Latin American countries it is not the case — Sergey Pronin, Deputy General Director for Sales and Marketing, PhosAgro; Member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.
Our analysis shows that apart from tariffs, trade is impeded by technical standards, technical regulation, phytosanitary methods, and so on. If we keep working within the memorandum to remove these barriers and help each other get into the partner’s markets, we could definitely increase the supply of produce — Tatyana Valovaya, Member of the Board – Minister in Charge of Integration and Macroeconomics, Eurasian Economic Commission .
Signing a memorandum between MERCOSUR and the EAEU is the first step. The second should be the following: our specialists should make the lists of goods and services our specialists could provide each other — Hugo Velázquez Moreno, Vice President of Paraguay.
We need to keep improving communications between state and public sectors. Our government promotes Nicaraguan companies to the markets of Russia and the EAEU. <…> We need additional efforts on behalf of the government to coordinate businessmen: our in your market, and vice versa — Laureano Ortega Murillo, Investment Promotion Advisor, ProNicaragua Government Investment Promotion Agency.
Legislature is improving, we are glad to see the list of countries that do not require a visa for visits grow all the time. <…> All of South America and most Central America are visa-free for us and we are working on reaching the same level with the Caribbean states. <…> The past football championship gave a huge impulse for human communication. This emotional surge now needs to be converted into economic, cultural and tourism exchanges — Alexander Shchetinin, Director, LATAM Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.
It appears to me that the tourist flow is missing in our relations. We are far apart, yes. <…> And mass tourism into Russia is unlikely. But we should think about promoting the countries, as we do not know each other enough. <…> There are well-off tourists from Russia, who could spend 3–4 times more than tourists from the US or Canada in your countries — Sergey Brilev, Russia TV Channel Anchor and Deputy Director and President of the Bering Bellingshausen Institute for the Americas.