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Diplomacy in Action

Joint Report: 2009-2010 Results of the U.S.-Russia Presidential Commission: Business Development and Economic Relations


Report
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
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Business Development and Economic Relations:
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and
Russian Federation Minister for Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina

Inter-Agency Participants:

United States

Russia

Department of Commerce

National Security Council

Department of State

Department of Agriculture

Department of Energy

Department of Treasury

Department of Justice

Federal Trade Commission

U.S. Agency for International Development Office of U.S. Trade Representative

Small Business Administration (SBA)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Ministry of Economic Development (MED)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Industry and Trade

Ministry of Health and Social Development

Federal Customs Service

Federal Migration Service

Federal Antimonopoly Service

 
Dates Group Convened:

October 2009:

Working Group Coordinators—Deputy Minister of Economic Development Slepnev and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade O’Neill— met in Washington with interagency delegations.

November 2010:

Federal Anti-Monopoly Service Head Artyemov visited the U.S.

January 2010:

Secretary Locke and Minister Nabiullina met in Boston, Massachusetts.

February 2010:

Aaron Brickman, Director of the Invest in America program, USDOC, traveled to Moscow.

March 2010:

Working Group Coordinators Slepnev and O’Neill held a second meeting in Moscow along with interagency delegations, and held consultations with U.S. and Russian business association representatives.

April 2010:

Secretary Locke and Minister Nabiullina co-chaired a full Working Group plenary meeting in Washington.

Deliverables/Progress:

In March 2010, MED and Commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the structure and operations of the Working Group and adopted a work plan for 2010. Among the work priorities identified are: (1) economic efficiency, conservation of resources, and modernization of production capabilities; (2) support for innovation; (3) export control; (4) the climate for developing trade and investment; (5) visa and work permit issues facing businesses; (6) training of managerial personnel; (7) customs cooperation; (8) development of small and medium-sized business; (9) temporary market access barriers; (10) developing cooperation in the field of antimonopoly policy; (11) new forms of cooperation in such priority sectors as health care, aerospace and information technologies.

  • Recognizing Russian Account Depositories as “Eligible Foreign Depositories”: With the participation of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Russian Federation Ministry of Economic Development, consultations were initiated between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Association of Global Custodians of the U.S., and the Bank of Russia regarding criteria for “eligible foreign depositories” in accordance with SEC Rule 17f-7.

  • Trade/Investment: In February 2010, the director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Invest in America program Aaron Brickman visited Moscow to discuss U.S. efforts to attract foreign direct investment to the United States and to address Russian investor concerns about the U.S. market. In April 2010, at a Working Group meeting chaired by Secretary Locke and Minister Nabiullina, a Memorandum of Intent on promoting foreign direct investment in the U.S. and Russia was signed that provides, in particular, that the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and the U.S. Department of Commerce will act as ombudsmen or points of contact for current and potential investors from both countries. In May, Rusnano and the American Association of Russian Speaking Business Professionals sponsored a delegation of Silicon Valley venture capital fund directors to Moscow. A business mission of U.S. aerospace companies to Russia is planned for October 2010.

  • Export Controls: In February 2010, an interagency Russian delegation met with officials from the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, Energy, and Homeland Security in Washington to discuss best practices in preventing the illegal export of sensitive technology. Working contact has been established between the Russian Federation Ministry of Industry and Trade and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

  • Energy Efficiency: In May 2010, the Commerce Department collaborated with the Energy Department and the Energy Working Group to organize a roundtable with U.S. business representatives in Washington, D.C. for visiting Russian delegates to an energy efficiency forum.

  • Small Business: At the Coordinator’s Working Group meeting in Moscow in March 2010, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) signed a Memorandum with the Russian Ministry of Economic Development on cooperation in the area of small and medium-sized business. The Parties are organizing a subgroup in the area of small and medium-sized business and have begun implementation of its action plan for 2010-2012.

  • Training of Managerial Personnel: During the meeting of the Working Group in April 2010, the parties agreed to step up consultations that had already begun on an intergovernmental memorandum on training managerial personnel.

  • Competition Policy: In November of 2009, the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission concluded a Memorandum of Understanding on Antitrust Cooperation under which a Workplan on cooperative activities was signed in April 2010.

  • Innovation: In January 2010, Secretary Locke met with a high-level Russian public-private sector delegation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to assess how public-sector and private-sector entities cooperate in the development and commercialization of new technologies.

Agenda for Future:

  • Hold sector-specific and regional seminars on economic efficiency, resource conservation, modernization of production and technology cooperation with the participation of Russian and U.S. companies, including representatives of the financial sector;

  • Identify contact persons on innovation cooperation and develop a “pool” of innovative initiatives in the realm of high technology to promote opportunities for cooperation between Russian and U.S. high-tech and innovative companies.

  • Consult on matters including:

    • options to develop possible new frameworks to solidify a mature bilateral economic relationship;

    • concluding an intergovernmental memorandum on training of managerial personnel;

    • investment projects in the area of energy efficiency proposed by Sberbank of Russia.

  • Conduct consultations with representatives of respective business communities on simplification of visas and work permit procedures for employees of American and Russian companies.

  • Facilitate further collaboration between the Russian Federal Customs Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to promote efficiency improvements in bilateral trade.

  • Develop contacts between each side’s small business development agencies and small business associations through participation in events in the United States (August 2010) and in Russia.

  • Develop measures for stimulating mutual investments in priority sectors.

  • Discuss temporary market access barriers;

  • Share experience and develop contacts on public procurement practices.



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