The Russia House in Davos, which was organized by the Roscongress Foundation, has completed its business programme. Over its four days of work, the official Russian residence hosted more than 1,000 guests from 60 foreign countries in addition to more than 120 media representatives. Over 50 business events and panel sessions took place within the walls of the Russia House and were attended by prominent entrepreneurs, experts, and media representatives. The project was organized by the Roscongress Foundation in cooperation with its partners: Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending, ER-Telecom Holding, V-Tell, the Moscow Government, the Moscow Department for External Economic and International Relations, EY, and Universa. The operator of the site and evening events was Congress-International and the company Simple.
The business programme of the Russia House ended with a briefing by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who summarized the work of the Russian government’s delegation at the World Economic Forum. Dvorkovich stressed the importance of organizing such a venue: “The Russia House has become an effective place to work, hold meetings, and promote Russia’s interests around the world. All the necessary conditions for an effective dialogue were created here, as noted by numerous visitors. It is nice that in Davos we had the opportunity to feel at home, while being far away.” The role of the Roscongress Foundation team and the partners who organized the project was noted separately.
This year marked the first time that the Russia House acquired the status of an official Russian residence. In addition to the head of the government delegation Arkady Dvorkovich, the business programme also included Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin, Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolay Nikiforov, Minister of the Moscow City Government and Head of the Moscow City Foreign Economic and International Relations Department Sergey Cheremin, and representatives of other departments. The Moscow Government had a special place in the Russia House programme for its presentation.
“The Russia House has become a major attraction for Russian and foreign representatives of the business elite, representatives of the state authorities, business and scientific circles, and opinion leaders. The doors of the Russia House were open not only to anyone who was interested in its extensive business programme, but also to people who just wanted to get acquainted with our country, its culture, and traditions of hospitality. The project received a lot of positive feedback and high praise for its organization from Russian and international guests. I am confident that the venue has great prospects and a great future,” Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation Anton Kobyakov said.
The development of digital technologies and the digital industry as well as issues concerning Russia’s competitiveness on the global energy market were key topics of discussions at the Russia House. The venue was also used to address the upcoming 2018 World Cup. Special attention was paid to charity and philanthropy. There was great interest in the panel session ‘Russia-USA Bilateral Relations One Year On.’ The diverse and comprehensive programme of the Russia House, which was prepared by experts from the Roscongress Foundation, brought together Russian and foreign experts from various fields as well as prominent moderators and journalists. The discussions held during the sessions were held in a practical manner and all participants were open to questions and a dialogue with the audience. The moderators, who ensured the business events were held at a high level, included EM Communications CEO Tom Blackwell, PBS NewsHour special correspondent and TV host Ryan Chilcote, Match TV channel General Producer Tina Kandelaki, New Economic School Rector and Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Diversity and Social Interactions Shlomo Weber, and President and CEO of the U.S.-Russia Business Council Daniel Russell.
The Russia House has become a seminal international event for Davos. The venue was visited by heads of foreign states and governments as well as civil servants from different countries around the world. Foreign guests included Prime Minister of Armenia Karen Karapetyan, Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Sapar Isakov, Prime Minister of Peru Mercedes Aráoz, Prime Minister of Somalia Hassan Ali Khayre, Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Yerbolat Dosayev, Foreign Minister of Tunisia Khemaies Jhinaoui, Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry of Mongolia Sumyaabazar Dolgorsuren, ARTOC Group President Shafik Gabr, and SUN Group Vice-President Shiv Vikram Khemka. Representatives of business and non-profit organizations, including Rockefeller Brothers Fund Chairwoman Valerie Rockefeller, Kissinger Associates Managing Director Thomas Graham, ImPact CEO Abigail Noble, Hyperloop Co-Owner and Project Manager Dirk Ahlborn, MasterCard Centre for Inclusive Growth President Shamina Singh and many others.
Key speakers and guests of the Russia House included prominent businessmen and representatives of state corporations: State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank) Chairman of the Management Board Sergei Gorkov, LUKOIL President, Member of the Board of Directors, and Chairman of the Management Board Vagit Alekperov, Sberbank President and Chairman of the Executive Board Herman Gref, VTB Bank President and Chairman of the Management Board Andrey Kostin, Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev, NLM Group Chairman of the Board of Directors Vladimir Lisin, Astana International Financial Centre Manager Kairat Kelimbetov, Renova Group Chairman of the Board of Directors Viktor Vekselberg, PhosAgro General Director Andrey Guriev, SIBUR Holding Chairman of the Management Board Dmitry Konov, ER-Telecom Holding President Andrey Kuzyaev, IHS Markit Vice-Chairman Daniel Yergin, EY Managing Partner for Russia Alexander Ivlev, SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited Chairman of the Board of Directors and Managing Director Hemant Kanoria, Bridgewater Associates Founder Ray Dalio, Неаd Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF) Kirill Varlamov and others.
The Russia House evening programme included classical opera and romance music concerts. Special attention was paid to sports as the second day of the business programme concluded with a friendly international gala hockey match featuring representatives of the Russian delegation and famous athletes. The Roscongress Sport Awards cups were presented after the game. People were also impressed with the cuisine from Friedemann Küchenmeister: Russia House guests were offered traditional snacks and dishes, cold and hot drinks, and various desserts.
The Russia House in Davos was a cornerpiece of Russia in the Swiss Alps. The main goal was to create comfortable conditions to attract attention to Russia’s business opportunities and investment appeal. The Russia House is a versatile multi-purpose venue for business meetings and negotiations, informal communication as well as to take a break from the intense schedule of Davos. The Russia House will open its doors again in 2019.