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Russia–Germany
7 June 2019
10:00—11:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Partnership between Russia and Germany is mutually beneficial

We do not share an agenda this saturated with any other European country — Azer Talibov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation .

Russian and German businesses are not competitors. We only have means complete each other — Vasily Osmakov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.

We are confident that the exchange should happen across all sectors. It is good for both Germany and Russia, it is important for Russian-European cooperation — Manuela Schwesig, Minister-President of the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Germany invested 3 billion into Russian economy. Russia is a great investment opportunity for us — Klaus Mangold, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Knorr-Bremse .

It is not just the client that matters to us, it is the supplier as well and we are interested in the development of Russian industry, which is twice interesting for us — Klaus Rosenfeld, Chief Executive Officer, Schaeffler.

We are building business contact structures with medium-sized businesses. Apart from Russia, we work with 120 universities and plan to invest EUR 70 million before 2020 — Alexander Klaeger, Chief Operating Officer, Head of Cloud Business for Middle and Eastern Europe, SAP.

Economic growth potential is out there

At its peak, commercial turnover with Germany reached USD 74 billion, now it is slightly over 60: there is room to grow — Azer Talibov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation .

We support Northern Stream 2. Germany will abandon nuclear and coal-driven energy by 2030, so we need natural gas — Manuela Schwesig, Minister-President of the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

German society wants to see the relations with Russia brought back to normal

Many of our entrepreneurs care about Russia, and it is not strictly business. I want to support you — Manuela Schwesig, Minister-President of the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Most Germans want to be closer to Russia and politicians cannot ignore that. They need to keep that in mind and change the situation while they still can — Heinz Hermann Thiele, Owner, Knorr-Bremse.

ISSUES
Negative effect from sanctions

We are in an absurd situation where normal development of relations has stalled. Given that it is absurd, this will inevitably end — Vasily Osmakov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.

Five years ago, we went through a difficult situation connected to the Crimean crisis, followed by the grave economic sanctions. We cannot go back to the previous standards. However, because of these sanctions Russia has turned towards China and it is unlikely this relationship will cease. We live in a new reality we need to get accustomed to. Strategic changes matter a lot, we do not yet fully realize the consequences, but it was a true political mistake. <…> Since we are in a difficult situation, we need to find a new way to cooperate. We need to lift the sanctions; we need to find rationale for that. <…> We cannot build Europe without Russia. Let us lift those sanctions and let is figure out the Ukrainian problem. It cannot go on like that anymore — Heinz Hermann Thiele, Owner, Knorr-Bremse.

SOLUTIONS
Developing new forms of cooperation

Let us focus on intense cooperation possibilities, on exchange of opinions, despite the sanctions. <…> I think this cooperation matters a lot and the government of FDR will support it. <…> We need to create an ecosystem, where we will find new cooperation potential. We need to invite the younger generation. <…> We need to think of formats that would help young Russian entrepreneurs and Russian business elite look West — Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany.

We need significant political support. After 5 years of discussions in the economic filed we could not come to any conclusion, because we need to form new forms of joint work — Heinz Hermann Thiele, Owner, Knorr-Bremse.

Improving conditions for German companies in Russia

By the next session of our strategic group, we received a task to identify the main focus points for our efforts. <…> We decided we will look closer at innovation and transfer of technology. We are talking about creating comfortable environment for German companies in the Russian market — Azer Talibov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation .

Cooperation in new technology

Not rich deposits, nor giant grounds will provide sustainable developlemt without implementing efficient contemporary technology that uses digital knowledge and products — Mikhail Oseevskiy, President, Chairman of the Management Board, Rostelecom .

At Severstal we are working through the same digitalization questions that are relevant for the German business. We see great interest from German companies for development of cooperation and cooperating with Russian companies in this field. <…> I think Russian and German business together are not keeping up with global best practices in digitalization. Cooperation can help us get in the lead — Alexey Mordashov, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Severstal.

In terms of digitalization: we would like to promote digital. We have set up 3D printers to replace parts and components — Sabrina Soussan, Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Mobility GmbH.

Digitalization is not a dialogue between majors [companies, – Ed.] but rather a dialogue between medium-sized and small. <…> What small companies are creating in terms of AI has not yet been created by big ones – it has not been created by no one, for that matter — Igor Bogachev, Chief Executive Officer, Zyfra .

Involving SME companies

We launched a Russian digitalization initiative. <…> We held 10 events. We made big and medium-sized companies interact and exchange experience. I do not think there are any small business representatives from either Russia or Germany here, but those companies would have liked to find partners. We have not yet learned to create prerequisites for those companies to learn about each other. This is the task we need to resolve together — Igor Bogachev, Chief Executive Officer, Zyfra .

Localizing German production in Russia

Modern technologies became a tool of switching whole countries on, off, or sideways. Sovereign development of digital services mandates us to maintain information sovereignty. A programme [has been adopted, – Ed.] to develop software that would allow us to replace major Western players, American primarily. We would like to continue cooperating with German enterprises, given localization will happen here. We are not ready to carry out thoses risks anymore [using modern technology as means of applying pressure – Ed.] — Mikhail Oseevskiy, President, Chairman of the Management Board, Rostelecom .

We have deep localization in Russia, we have a pool of local experts. <…> Localization of new generation regional trains Lastochka is 80% — Sabrina Soussan, Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Mobility GmbH.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS