Russian-American relations are going through a crisis
“Our countries have a number of political differences. <…> There is a whole number of legal – lawmaking – processes that are mostly sanctions-related that live their own life now and are hard to be reversed,” Ivan Timofeev, Program Director, Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club.
“Over 30 years, I cannot remember a tougher time in Russian-American relations. <…> Today, Russia does not have all that many friends in Washington,” James Warlick, Partner, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners.
American business is interested in working in Russia despite political intricacies
“This year, the US presence at the Forum is the second largest after China. We did it without any support from the government. <…> USD 85 billion worth of US investment are now employed in Russia. It is a fairly good result. Extra USD 1.6 billion are planned to be invested this year. <…> Despite the problems, our relations are broad and deep,” Alexis Rodzianko, President, American Chamber of Commerce in Russia.
“At this year’s Forum, the US presented the largest private delegation, a private sector delegation. This fact speaks for itself. <…> Recently, the American Chamber of Commerce did a survey which revealed that companies view Russia as a part of their global strategy,” Daniel Russell, President, Chief Executive Officer, US–Russia Business Council (USRBC).
“We are very much interested to be here and to significantly expand our activity. <…> We have been in the business for 75 years. Over this time, the US has seen 14 presidents. We are not thinking about today’s political fights; we are thinking about long-term interests,” Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman of the Board, President, Chief Executive Officer, Air Products and Chemicals Inc.
“We can compete in geopolitics, but we can also cooperate to improve the life of the society and conditions for business. <…> Business plays a small role in geopolitics, but it can contribute to building trust,” James Quincey, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company.
Investment climate has room for improvement
“Investment climate is vital. <…> It is key to growth and prosperity not just for businesses and entrepreneurs, but for well-being of the people that are not involved in entrepreneurship. I would like to emphasize: if you want to move forward, then investment climate and private sector are the most important things,” Daniel Russell, President, Chief Executive Officer, US–Russia Business Council (USRBC).
“The practice of using the Criminal Code for resolving commercial disputes must be restrained,” Alexis Rodzianko, President, American Chamber of Commerce in Russia.
“Intellectual property protection is a very important sphere. It is a key issue. It is hard to protect innovation without it. <…> When it comes to intellectual property, Russia has achieved a notable progress <…> but it needs to be taken to a whole new level. <…> This will improve the investment climate,” Anthony Wong, Regional Vice President, Russia, Ukraine and CIS, AbbVie.
The US is reluctant to acknowledge Russia as an equal partner
“The elites – I believe it is primarily the US elites – are not ready to make peace with the fact that the economic change everywhere in the world has an impact on politics, on creation of new power centres and on Russia looking at its global and regional role from a different perspective after failing in the 90s,” Sergey Grigoriev, Deputy General Director, SUEK.
“Today, as different data shows us, over 70% of GDP is produced by companies with state ownership or state companies, which, in its turn, makes the state companies procurement law seem too protectionist. This is why international companies do not get so many opportunities to access this market. <…> We have a suggestion for the Russian leadership to avoid making these laws so protectionist,” Zakhar Smushkin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ilim Group.
“We cannot hide behind the sanctions and stop the dialogue. We carry on the dialogue in other parts of the world, and we will carry it on with Russia. We need to help politicians to do a better job at it,” Mark Andrus McCollum, President, Chief Executive Officer, Weatherford International Plc.
“If you have the right, the good partners and you share good relations, things happen faster and business develops in a more successful way,” Marcus Symington Montenecourt, Vice President, Managing Director for International Affairs, Amsted Rail Company Inc.
Expanding cooperation in science and innovation
“Both sides could unite their efforts in space exploration, in building a Moon station, in controlled thermonuclear reactions, maybe in developing a vaccine or in providing access to pure drinking water,” Andrey Bugrov, Senior Vice President, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors, MMC Norilsk Nickel; Vice President, Interros Holding Company CJSC.
“Russia has good traditions in biology, in technology, and in research. We do see a great potential in other areas as well, which we would like to use. <…> There is an area that could use more investment. That is discoveries,” Anthony Wong, Regional Vice President, Russia, Ukraine and CIS, AbbVie.
“There is no other power that could start a new Moon mission and explore the deep space. It is worth trillions of dollars, because civilian space activities are always a catalyst for developing science and technology,” Sergey Kravchenko, President, Boeing Russia/CIS.
“I would like to mention one element – partnership in urban space development,” Sergey Riabokobylko, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Partner, Cushman & Wakefield.
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