Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary- General, UNCTAD, Switzerland, added that ‘it is important to further reform Russia’s economy so that the country can use trade to recover when the crisis eases.’ The Secretary-General voiced his support for Russia’s bid to finalize its negotiations for accession to the WTO.‘Managed well, a Russian WTO membership would benefit both Russia and its trading partners.The trade body’s rules would strengthen foreign direct investment and trade bonds.’
The consensus of the delegates attending
the Global Russia Business Meeting was that
a new global financial and economic order
is inevitable - with Russia playing a key role
in this new global infrastructure. It was the
common view that the crisis and the dramatic
adjustments being made by economies
around the world present a watershed series of events.‘Recovery from the crisis
will not lead to a restoration of the global
order that existed prior to 2007, in terms
of the practices and flows of investments
and trade, market regulation, and many
other threads tying together national and
global economic life,’ observed Gligor
Tashkovich, Minister of Foreign
Investment (ret.) of Macedonia.
In his welcoming address, Danilo Türk, President of the Republic of Slovenia, assessed bilateral relations between Russia and Slovenia as excellent.
‘Despite the economic crisis, the level of trade between the two countries has been maintained and there is a considerable further potential within a wide range of fields.’
He added that ‘the negotiations on a new broad agreement between the European Union and the Russian Federation are moving towards a favourable conclusion, an issue that Slovenia successfully advocated during its EU Council Presidency.’
President Türk also expressed his satisfaction with the signing of an Agreement on Cooperation in constructing the South Stream gas pipeline.
‘Russia maintains an open and liberal foreign investment climate,’ said Suren O. Vardanian, Director General, Moscow Investment and Export Promotion Agency, Russia.
‘The ability of Western companies to make investments in Russia is greater than in comparable developing countries. Many companies are fully controlled by foreign interests and there are no restrictions on taking money outside of Russia.’
Alan Hassenfeld, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Hasbro, USA, stressed that ‘with a population reaching 143 million people, there are tremendous opportunities for global investors in the Russian economy.’
‘The traditional reliance on the oil and gas industry is changing. Human resources and infrastructure needs are being addressed, resulting in tremendous investment opportunities in Russia despite the global economic crisis,’ added Carla Cico, Chief Executive Officer, Rivoli S.P.A., Italy.
Avtandil Gorgiladze,Vice Chairman, Russian Railways, Russia, outlined the current projects of his company, the largest employer in the Russian Federation. He emphasized the importance of railways to the competitiveness of Russia.‘Russian Railways will play a key role in the modernization of Russia’s infrastructure.’
Addressing crisis issues in the most comprehensive terms, the Global Russia Business Meeting featured a series of panels, boardroom dialogue sessions and special events to deep understanding of the crisis and its aftermath from a Russian and a global perspective.
‘I think that there is very much a cautionary view as to what the next 12 to 18 months are going to look like,’ said Claude Beglé, Former Chairman, Swisspost, Switzerland,‘and quite some concern around a couple critical issues, such as the falling Euro.’ Participants maintained a clear focus on the future and on Russia beyond the crisis. As Cvetka Selˇsek, Chief Executive Officer, SKB, Slovenia, put it:
‘There are many developments unknown about the new global order, but it seems certain that Russia is already playing an increasingly important role as a force for global recovery.’
And, as Edward Shenderovich, Managing Director, Kite Ventures, Russia, pronounced it:‘If the economic crisis has told us anything, it is that we need a new framework for collaboration, supervision and global governance. Russia might assume a global leadership role in this new framework.’
Commenting on bilateral relations between
Russia and the Ukriane, Petro
Poroshenko, the Ukraine’s former
Minister of Foreign Affairs and current
Head of Council, National Bank of Ukraine,
said:‘The Ukraine is interested in a strong
and sustainable partnership with Russia.
I am rather positive about the Ukraine’s
financial and economic future.’