Moscow, 2 July 2018. Andrey Guryev, a member of the Board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Chairman of the Russia-Argentina Council of Entrepreneurs and CEO of PhosAgro, and Juan Manuel Collazo, Chairman of the Argentina-Russia Council of Entrepreneurs, who replaced Antonio Estrany y Gendre in February this year, hosted the second Council Forum in Moscow at the headquarters of PhosAgro, a leading global producer of environmentally friendly phosphate-based fertilizers and the main supplier of fertilizers to the Latin American market.
In attendance were Argentina’s Ambassador to Russia, Ricardo Ernesto Lagorio; Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Latin America Department, Alexander Schetinin; Deputy Director of the Department for Asia, Africa and Latin America of Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development and Deputy Chairman of the Russian section of the Intergovernmental Russian-Argentine Commission of Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation, Sergei Nosov; Vice-President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vladimir Padalko; Executive Vice-President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Victor Cherepov; Russian State Duma Deputy and Head of the Parliamentary Group on Relations with the Parliament of Argentina, Alexander Sidyakin; as well as representatives of various governmental bodies of both countries.
Also in attendance were representatives of Russian and Argentine companies and business communities, including Delovaya Rossiya, JSC Russian Export Centre, JSC Gazprombank, JSC Russian Railways, VESTA LLC, RITE, Baltdraga, Incotex Group, NC SESLA, Trade House Sinara-Transport Machines, JSC ELTEZA, PJSC Power Machines, JSC Russian Fracturing Company, Helport SA, Panadile SA, Marval O’Farrell & Mairal, Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados, TMH Argentina, Techint, TMH Internacional, Hydra Argentina SA, EkoTech Energy LLC.
During the Forum, participants discussed the current state of the trade, economic and investment agenda for bilateral Russian-Argentine relations and summarized the results of joint work since the beginning of the year, following the meeting of the Presidents of Russia and Argentina and the 13th meeting of the Intergovernmental Russian-Argentine Commission of Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation. The participants also established a number of objectives for the future.
In opening the forum, Chairman of the Russia-Argentina Council of Entrepreneurs and CEO of PhosAgro, Andrey Guryev, noted: “A little more than a year has passed since the Councils resumed their activities, but in this very short period of time, we have accomplished a great deal and taken a number of important steps to meet each other halfway.
“First of all, as President of the Russian Fertilizer Industry Association, it’s important for me to note that, in August of last year, as a result of joint efforts and constructive dialogue with our Argentine colleagues, an agreement was reached to remove the 6 per cent import duty on high-quality diammonium phosphate (DAP). This is, to say the least, a great victory that will benefit, first of all, Argentina’s farmers and the consumers of their products. This is an important contribution on the part of the state to ensuring Argentina’s food security, and we thank our colleagues for their assistance in this process, and also for their dedication, professionalism and desire to expand borders.
“For Russian producers of mineral fertilizers, Latin America—and Argentina in particular—is a priority sales market. We are certain that the removal of duties will be a powerful incentive for a further increase in deliveries of environmentally friendly mineral fertilizers from Russia. As of the end of 2017, deliveries of PhosAgro mineral fertilizers to Argentina had reached 140,000 tonnes, having doubled in the last three years.
“I would also like to announce that we are planning to open a trading company in Buenos Aires during the G20 Summit in Argentina, which is another indication of our interest in strengthening and expanding our partnership with our Argentinean partners.”
The Chairman of the Argentina-Russia Council of Entrepreneurs, Juan Manuel Collazo, had this to say: “Thank you very much for the excellent organisation of this event and for your tremendous hospitality. Our fraternal Russia-Argentina Council of Entrepreneurs, headed by my friend, Andrey Guryev, has been doing a great deal of work with us. I would like to say that we are looking to the future with optimism: at present, there are outstanding conditions for developing trade and other relations between our countries and our peoples, and a wonderful business environment has been created at both the official and the private level. I believe that the visit by Argentina’s President, Mauricio Macri, to Moscow is evidence of this. I would also like to emphasise the importance of the meeting of the Councils held last November in Buenos Aires, where Mr. Guryev was accompanied by an impressive delegation of Russian entrepreneurs representing various sectors of the economy.”
Argentina’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Ricardo Ernesto Lagorio, added: “I would like to say a few words of gratitude to Mr. Guryev for yet another demonstration of hospitality. When I was appointed as Argentina’s Ambassador to Russia, it was a great honour for me because I would be representing my country before your huge country, huge not only from the point of view of geography, but also in terms of its diversity of cultures, politics and opportunities for business development. In January of this year, we had an excellent working meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was four hours of fruitful work. I think that we are talking about the formation of a renewed strategic alliance, based on a much more modern vision of the world. On behalf of the Government of Argentina, my wish for you is that you continue working on the development of this amazing synergy so that you can help both our governments and private business deepen and develop their relations and promote a strategic partnership between our countries.”
The Vice-President of Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vladimir Padalko, said: “A little more than a year has passed since Andrey Guryev was elected as Chairman of the Russia-Argentina Council of Entrepreneurs, but his team has already managed to accomplish a great deal: relations with our Argentine partners have been restored, the membership base has been replenished, a representative business mission to Buenos Aires took place, and concrete bilateral projects are being developed. We are happy that Sergey Dankvert supported our suggestion to appoint Andrey Guryev as Deputy Chairman of the Russian section of the Russian-Argentine Intergovernmental Commission. This will provide an opportunity to express the consolidated position of Russian business at a high intergovernmental level.”
The Deputy Chairman of the Russian section of the Intergovernmental Russian-Argentine Commission of Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation, Sergei Nosov, added: “Last year, the Council of Entrepreneurs was rebooted, and this could not but have an impact on its results. We have a truly dynamic and consistent dialogue regarding the business community and state structures. It is symbolic that, in 2017, after resumption of the activities of the Councils of Entrepreneurs, we once again began seeing an increase in trade turnover, with bilateral trade between our countries increasing to USD 890 million. We have been seeing a positive trend this year as well, which can only make us happy.”
The Director of the Latin America Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Schetinin, noted: “We have been seeing dynamic cooperation between our countries’ Councils of Entrepreneurs under the leadership of their Chairmen, Andrey Guryev and Juan Manuel Collazo. The development of relations with Argentina and with all of Latin America is, in my opinion, an essential area of Russia’s foreign policy, including in an economic sense. We are in favour of equal, mutually beneficial, non-discriminatory cooperation in the spirit of the 21st century, not the 19th. We are counting on your considerable entrepreneurial voice after the upcoming conclusion of a memorandum of cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Commission and the member states of Mercosur.”
The Executive Vice-President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Viktor Cherepov, had this to say: “At the St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2018, we cited the example of Argentina as the chair of the B20 on securing infrastructure investments and developing the digital economy. The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Russia’s two largest business associations, set a precedent by focusing together on the work of the Russia-Argentina Council of Entrepreneurs. This had a positive result, especially since the Russian-Argentine Commission is working with us, and Andrey Guryev is the Deputy Chairman of the Russian section of the Commission. After a Russian business delegation led by Andrey Guryev visited Buenos Aires in December, various industries and companies began working with their counterparts in Argentina. In my opinion, when implementing joint projects, Russia and Argentina should also make use of the opportunities offered by the industry commissions of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, especially in such important areas as agribusiness, energy and transport engineering, mining, and the nuclear and pharmaceutical industries.”
Russian State Duma Deputy and the Head of the Parliamentary Group on Relations with the Parliament of the Argentina, Alexander Sidyakin, stressed: “Diplomatic relations between Russia and Argentina were established at the end of the 19th century. That gave rise to economic cooperation between our two countries that continues to this day. We hope that with the support of the Councils of Entrepreneurs of Russia and Argentina, our future partnership will be even more productive. I can speak about the increased role of cooperation in agribusiness. In particular, Argentina removed duties on the import of Russian fertilizers in 2017. In turn, PhosAgro is a supplier of high-grade fertilizers, which are in high demand in Argentina.”
The Chairmen of the Councils of Entrepreneurs of Russia and Argentina, Andrey Guryev and Juan Manuel Collazo, expressed confidence that this Forum would contribute to the further development of fruitful cooperation and bilateral trade and economic relations between Russia and Argentina and agreed to consider the possibility of hosting the next Forum in Argentina during the G20 Summit.