Buenos Aires – The Council of Entrepreneurs of Russia and Argentina have made a significant contribution to the growth of trade turnover in the first 9 months of 2018, which was noted at the Forum of the Council of Entrepreneurs of both countries, held in Argentina at the site of the G20 summit.
The Forum was organised by the Chairman of the Russia-Argentina Council of Entrepreneurs, Member of the Board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and CEO PhosAgro Andrey Guryev and Chairman of the Argentina-Russia Council of Entrepreneurs of Juan Manuel Collazo.
In the first 9 months of 2018, trade turnover between Russia and Argentina increased by 25.8% year-on-year. At the same time, Russian exports grew by more than 56%.
The Forum was attended by Russian Ambassador to Argentina Dmitry Feoktistov, Chairman of the Argentine part of the Intergovernmental Russian-Argentine Commission of Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation, first Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina Horacio Reiser, Chairman of the Russian part of the Intergovernmental Russian-Argentine Commission of Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation, head of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance of the Russian Federation Sergey Dankvert, Deputy Foreign Minister of Argentina Daniel Raimondi, Argentina's International Trade Secretary for the Ministry of Production and Labour Marisa Bircher, Chairman of the Buenos Aires Exchange Adelmo Gabby, Deputy Secretary for International Trade of Argentina Shunko Rojas, Director of the Latin American Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Shchetinin, Deputy Minister Of Finance of the Russian Federation Sergei Storchak, Executive Vice-President of the RUIE Victor Cherepov, President of the Export Grain Exchange and Argentina's Secretary for Management in the field of Government Innovation Maria Ines Baca, President of Argentina's Oil Industry Chamber Gustavo Idigoras, President of the Argentine Agricultural Association Daniel Pelegrina, representatives of large Russian financial and industrial corporations, including Gazprombank, Transmashholding, PhosAgro, Power Machines, REP Holding and Il'yushin Aviation Complex.
The plenary session of the Forum discussed various aspects and the outlook for the development of trade between Russia and Argentina. Issues of legal security were raised, as well as challenges with implementation of projects in the field of public-private partnership, the prospects of participation of Russian companies in projects in the field of energy, oil and gas production were discussed, and aspects of the development of the digital economy and innovation policy of Russia and Argentina were considered in detail.
Chairman of the Russia-Argentina Council of Entrepreneurs, member of the Board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and CEO of PhosAgro Andrey Guryev emphasized in his speech: "Russia and Argentina are two actively developing, and moreover, two complementary economies. As a result of successful joint efforts, business in Russia and Argentina managed to find points of growth in various industries. We see high interest in the cooperation and development of logistics capacities, both port logistics and railway infrastructure. There are also great prospects for the development of cooperation in energy generation, including nuclear, in the field of oil production, pharmacology and other industries.
"The fact that the third Forum of the Russia-Argentina Councils of Entrepreneurs was held within the framework of the G20 underscores the practical value of our work for the economies of the two countries. We are participants in a productive and constructive dialogue. Each meeting represents a new step towards expanding and strengthening cooperation. We discuss practical issues and do so for mutual benefit. Every new project developed or implemented by Russian and Argentine entrepreneurs is a brick in strengthening Russian – Argentine cooperation.
"It is symbolic that the Forum was held a few days before 10 December, which is the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the strategic partnership between our countries," said the Russian Ambassador to Argentina Dmitry Feoktistov. He also stressed that this year the Presidents of Russia and Argentina met twice, in Moscow and Johannesburg, and that in Buenos Aires, within the framework of the G20, their third meeting was held. Each time, the Presidents' conversation begins with a discussion of bilateral economic cooperation, because this topic is of exceptional importance for the two countries.
During the Forum, the importance of the efforts of public and state organisations in Russia and Argentina towards the development of international economic cooperation was repeatedly emphasised. The Intergovernmental Russian-Argentine Commission of Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation plays an important role in removing barriers for trade and investment and identifying new, promising areas and niches for cooperation. During a regular meeting of the Commission in 2018 in Moscow, an agreement was reached on the formation of a list of joint priority projects, in order to provide them with targeted support through the IGC. Executive Vice-President of RUIE Victor Cherepov noted the importance of the countries' aspiration to the elimination of the barriers in bilateral relations: "In 2017, Argentina abolished a 6% import duty on high-quality diammonium phosphate (DAP) from Russia, which has increased the supply of Russian products, which have naturally low levels of potentially-harmful impurities, for Argentine farmers. In addition, Russia and Argentina joined the WTO ministerial statement on investment facilitation in 2017. The implementation of WTO rules and the provisions of the agreement on trade facilitation are the Foundation of business development demonstrating the interest of both countries in strengthening cooperation to create a more transparent, efficient and predictable environment for investment. A memorandum of cooperation between the two integration associations is nearing completion, in which there are representatives of Russia and Argentina: the Eurasian Economic Union and MERCOSUR. The memorandum will cover such areas as trade and investment, energy, scientific and technological development, finance, transport, communications, agriculture, tourism and information and communication technologies. In the long term, the possibility of creating a free trade zone of the EAEU-MERCOSUR is being considered."
According to the Deputy Foreign Minister of Argentina Daniel Raimondi, the countries are strategic partners in the trade and economic arenas. Argentina is an important market for Russia for the supply of agricultural products. And Argentina is fourth in the list of Latin American countries where Russian investments are directed.
During the Forum an agreement was signed on the construction of transhipment hub for river and ocean carriers between MIDDLEBURGO (Argentina), VELA DEVELOPMENT (Russia) and GLOBAL TRANS LOGISTIC (an international logistics operator), as well as the opening of a PhosAgro trading office in Argentina.
"As Chairman of the Russia-Argentina Council of Entrepreneurs, I am proud to talk about the development of cooperation between businessmen of the two countries. I am sure that Mr. Juan Manuel Collazo, Chairman of the Argentina-Russia Council of Entrepreneurs shares my emotions. The expansion of contacts suggests that our Council of Entrepreneurs is a dialogue between businessmen and officials of the two countries that is moving in the right direction," concluded the Chairman of the Russia-Argentina Council of Entrepreneurs Andrey Guryev.
"I fully agree with my Russian counterpart: the work of our Councils is aimed at strengthening and expanding trade relations, we have excellent opportunities for the implementation of an even greater number of trade and investment projects. I hope that in the framework of our next meeting we will already be able to discuss the results of those projects and the work that we have carried out as a result of this Forum," said the Chairman of the Argentina-Russia Council of Entrepreneurs Juan Manuel Collazo.
Work towards further development of economic relations between Russia and Argentina will continue next year in the framework of the upcoming meeting of the Intergovernmental Russian-Argentine Commission of Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation. The decision was made that the fourth Forum of the Councils of Entrepreneurs of Russia and Argentina will be held in Russia.