Katyrin Held a Meeting with Representatives of the Chamber Abroad
On November 29, President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sergei Katyrin held a meeting with representatives of the Chamber abroad.
At the beginning of the meeting, he cited statistics provided by the Federal Customs Service, according to which Russia’s foreign trade turnover in the three quarters of 2023 decreased by 16 percent. Exports to Europe decreased the most – 70 percent. Imports from Europe also fell by almost 10 percent.
According to Katyrin, there has been a “strengthening of the Asian vector.” Thus, trade with Greater Asia now accounts for almost 70% or $227 billion, an increase of 10 percent.
“By and large, a new geography of our foreign trade has emerged. I think that in the near future, at least in the medium term, this geography will be presented in this form,” he emphasized.
Sergey Katyrin reported that the CCI system in the Russian Federation, in terms of developing international cooperation, has actively joined in solving pressing problems for business: entering new markets, searching for alternative suppliers, assisting in solving problems in “Western” jurisdictions, creating various platforms. For this purpose, foreign representatives, business councils, and partner organizations were involved.
He noted the activities of Expocentre JSC, which holds from 80 to 100 exhibitions a year - all of them international. The activity of the Maritime Arbitration Commission (MAC) and the International Commercial Arbitration Court (ICAC) was also noted. “We have maintained our leadership among the leading institutions for resolving international disputes,” the head of the Chamber emphasized.
Vice President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Padalko, during his report, pointed out that fundamental changes have occurred in the foreign economic situation. One of the most serious consequences of Western sanctions has been a significant reduction in Russian exports.
“These data indicate that not all business entities were able to reorient themselves to new markets, find new partners and increase supply volumes to pre-sanction levels. The RF CCI, due to its status, can do a lot to overcome negative trends and become an important channel for reorienting trade flows to the markets of loyal countries. We have such resources, and they are considerable,” he emphasized.
Vladimir Padalko reported that as of November 2023, the network of foreign representative offices of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry covers more than 40 countries with its activities. There are 8 full-time representative offices in 7 countries, 4 of which have regional status. The institute of honorary representatives is actively developing. On a voluntary basis, the interests of the Chamber are represented abroad by 19 Russian entrepreneurs.
The foreign economic infrastructure of the Chamber also includes Business Councils for cooperation with foreign countries. We currently have 78 bilateral tips in our arsenal. The vast majority of them are actively working in their areas.
Separately, the Vice-President of the Chamber focused on the geographic priorities of work in the coming 2024. In particular, V. Padalko noted that the work of the CCI system in the Russian Federation with the CIS countries “has always been distinguished by mutual activity.” “Bilateral business councils and honorary representatives of the Chamber, primarily in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, play an important role in maintaining a high level of interaction with partners in the post-Soviet space. We are considering the issue of expanding the geographic presence of the Chamber in Central Asia by appointing honorary representatives in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan,” said the Vice President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.Within the Asian track, the main directions of business activity are the countries of Southeast and South Asia - ASEAN, China, India, Turkey.
Positions are also growing in India, which is also seen as a kind of “gateway” to neighboring countries that may be interesting from the point of view of promoting Russian goods - Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan.
“As for the Middle East. We are seeing a significant increase in domestic business in the markets of these countries. The office of the Chamber's honorary representative in the Middle East, based in Dubai, remains extremely in demand. The Turkish direction is being “closed” by a full-time representative office, the Russian-Turkish Business Council. Other areas in the Middle East that should be given increased attention, in our opinion, are Iran and Syria. Egypt,” noted Vladimir Padalko.
When working with European countries, he believes, it is important to maintain established connections and contacts and continue to develop cooperation in those areas that are not affected by the restrictions introduced. “The main support points of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in these states remain the representative offices in Germany, Austria and Serbia. We are considering the prospect of opening a Chamber office in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he noted.
In addition, active work continues to assist businesses in establishing mutually beneficial business cooperation with countries in Africa and Latin America.
During the Russian presidency of BRICS next year, the active promotion of initiatives in the interests of entrepreneurs through the BRICS Business Council will continue.
By Nail Shakhvaliyev, Press Service of the Chamber