INTER-REGIONAL FORUM “STRENGTHENING OF INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCES OF SME BETWEEN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AND THE COUNTRIES OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN” (LAC)”
On June 5, 2016, for the first time within the scope of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, an Inter-regional Forum in the Russia – countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) format was held. The event was organised by UNIDO (the Organisation for Industrial Development) in conjunction with the Roscongress Foundation.
The moderator of the panel session “CARICOM + CARIBBEAN” was Carlos Ernesto Chanduvi Suarez, Chief of the Latin America and Caribbean Division UNIDO.
The participants in the session presented their countries and the opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation with Russia in various economic spheres.
The Republic of Haiti was presented by Jessy Petit-Frère, Minister of Commerce and Industry; Republic of Guyana by Ms. Uchenna Samantha Gibson, Senior Export Promotion Officer; Dominican Republic by Ms. Anyelin Montero de los Santos, Deputy General Director of the Dominican Republic Center of Export and Investment (CEI-RD); Cuba by Ms. Vivian Herrera Sid, General Director of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX); Republic of Suriname by Sieglien Burleson, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic.
The speakers noted such common problems as:
- lack of export strategies under the new conditions, of the requisite administrative structures and experience of implementing such strategies. Russia should also have a strategy in relation to these countries. These tasks are important for both sides;
- transport and logistics problems: lack of the required hubs (there is one only in Miami; the small volumes of product exports mean they cannot be sent directly; the distance is over 10 thousand Km and it takes 17–25 days to deliver them via the ports of Hamburg, Rotterdam and St. Petersburg);
- the need to set up a special Representation in Moscow of the countries of Latin America of Centre for Logistics and Trade in consideration not only of the Russian market but also that of the CIS;
- Russia needs to establish Trade Houses in the countries of Latin America and the latter in Russia and the CIS.
The common opinion was expressed by representative of Haiti E.E. Petit-Frère: “We can achieve good results with respect to many goods if we can combine our countries’ strategies. We want to know what Russia needs and we have everything we need for realising our opportunities”.
According to the participants, the meeting facilitated exchange of the necessary information about opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses in Latin America to export to Russia.
The Caribbean Community or CARICOM is a trade and economic union of countries in the Caribbean region.
There are 15 full members of the Caribbean Community and common market: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Montserrat.