Bilateral discussions within business dialogue between Russia and other key economies from different regions are traditionally given a important role in the Business Programme of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The Russia–France Business Dialogue will take place on 25 May and is expected to draw much attention.
Confirmed speakers include Oleg Belozerov, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Russian Railways; Olivier Brandicourt, CEO of Sanofi; Viktor Vekselberg, Chairman of the Board of Renova Group; Andrey Guryev, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of PhosAgro; Gennady Timchenko, Founder and Main Shareholder of Volga Group; Wilhelm Hubner, Chairman of the Management Board of Auchan Holding SA, and Emmanuel Faber, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Danone SA.
A number of topics are expected to be addressed during the Russia–France Dialogue: Will the changes in the geopolitical situation and relations between Russia and the European Union affect business contacts? Are mutual trade barriers and sanctions likely to be removed in the near future? What economy sectors can be of mutual interest for French and Russian investors? The Business Dialogue participants will cover these topics, as well as other relevant issues. They will also discuss new areas of mutually beneficial cooperation: digital economy, IT technology transfer, urban development and modern infrastructure.
France is a key European partner for Russia. The countries have established a successful bilateral cooperation in politics, economy, culture and humanitarian exchange. Last year the trade volume went up by 16.5% and reached $15.5 billion. More than 500 French companies currently work in Russia.
Sylvie-Agnès Bermann, Ambassador of France to Russia: “The close relations between France and Russia have never stopped, not even during the crisis. French enterprises made their choice and stayed in Russia. There’s a significant amount of bilateral investment, with new promising cooperation opportunities in transport, energy, health care, food and environment. The Pavilion of France at SPIEF will present our country’s achievements and will provide French and Russian enterprises with further opportunities to meet and, hopefully, to develop common innovative projects. Intensive contacts between our countries exist in other areas, such as culture. Russia and France announced 2018 the Cross Year of Language and Literature. The Trianon Dialogue between civil societies of our countries, initiated during the meeting of Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin in May 2017 will promote new partnerships.”
Pierre Gattaz, President of MEDEF: “Innovation will be main topic we will discuss during the France–Russia Business Dialogue. Indeed, French companies have developed innovative solutions to tackle such current challenges as urban development and sustainable cities, digitalization of industry, IoT, artificial intelligence, etc. French companies have a true know-how, which they are willing to share and develop with Russian companies. Whatever happens around, I trust that French businesses, along with their Russian partners, have a long path of cooperation in front of them.”
“Today some thirty Russian regions work with French business, with their mutual interests embracing a wide range of sectors: space, aviation, car building, high-tech, agriculture and food, transport, road construction and many others. This is a solid ground for further extension of bilateral cooperation”, reckons Alexander Shokhin, President of Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
At the same time, Ekaterina Trofimova, CEO of Akra, a credit-rating agency, considers French and Russian economic and commercial cooperation to have a “good potential”. “France is the second biggest foreign investor in Russia after Germany, while over the last three years it used to be the first. France also remains the biggest foreign employer for the Russian citizens. Strong historical ties of our countries and a significant range of the French economy determine a good potential for improving trade and financial flows between Russia and France in the future. The fact that not a single French enterprise left Russia after the sanctions were introduced speaks for itself,” thinks Ekaterina Trofimova.
Please, find more information on the official website of the Forum: SPIEF-2018.
Catalogue for the Pavilion of France:
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Today, its annual programme includes events held from Montevideo to Vladivostok, offering an opportunity to bring together global business leaders, experts, the media, and government officials in one place, creating favourable conditions for dialogue and the promotion of new ideas and projects, and assisting in the creation of social enterprise and charity projects.