GENEVA, June 1. /TASS/. The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is an excellent opportunity for meeting business people from Russian regions, Delegate of the Federal Council for Trade Agreements and Head of the Bilateral Economic Relations Division at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Livia Leu, told TASS on Thursday.
"The Forum is an excellent opportunity for our businesses to meet with Russian counterparts from different regions," she noted. "I will participate in the Swiss-Russian round-table, attend other panels and meet with representatives from the private and public sectors. Russia is an important economic partner of Switzerland both in trade and investment," the ambassador added.
She also hailed the activity of the bilateral Economic Commission, whose 18th meeting was held on May 30. Livia Leu co-chaired it together with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko. "This commission is a useful platform to exchange views on our regulatory framework (Investment Protection, intellectual property rights, a.o.) as well as to address specific issues of the private sector," she noted.
Focusing on prospects for partnership with Russia, the ambassador said "Switzerland is interested to maintain and improve market access for its export-oriented economy worldwide".
"One of the challenges foreign companies face in Russia is the implementation of the policy of localization, which should be in line with WTO rules. Several Swiss companies are already invested in Russia, providing almost 50,000 jobs," she went on.
"Switzerland continues to defend open markets against the winds of protectionism blowing around the globe these days and looks forward to continue the dialogue in different fora with our Russian partners on this and other questions of mutual interest," Livia Leu said.
The written answers to TASS questions were provided by the press service of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum takes place from June 1 to June 3, 2017, in St. Petersburg. This year’s forum events are united under the slogan "In search of a new balance in global economy." TASS is the forum’s main information partner and the official photo hosting provider. In addition, TASS is the operator of the forum’s presentation zone.