8th Joint Session of the Russian-Arab Business Council
Moscow, October 22-23, 2008
On 22-23 October 2008 Moscow, Russian Federation, hosted the 8th joint session of the Russian-Arab Business Council which was attended by officials and members of both the Russian and Arab parts of the Council. The session concurred with the First Arab Exhibition in Moscow “Arabia-Expo”. The session was started by the welcoming address to the participants which was cited on behalf of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation H.E. Sergey Lavrov. The address highlighted the attention paid by the Russian Federation to strengthening commercial and economic relations with the Arab states.Р’В The speeches were also delivered by the following top-ranking participants:
- President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation H.E. Evgeny Primakov;
- Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation H.E. Sergey Lavrov;
- President of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Arab Countries H.E. Adnan Kassar;
- Chairman of the Russian part of the Russian-Arab Business Council, Chairman of the Board of JSFC “Sistema” H.E. Vladimir Evtushenkov
- Minister of Industry of the Lebanese Republic H.E. Gazi Zueiter;
- Minister of Foreign Trade of the Kingdom of Morocco H.E. Abdel Latif Maazuz;
- Deputy Minister of Trade of the Republic of Iraq Mrs. H.E. Suweiba Mahmoud Zakh Nakh Nah.
Р’В All the speakers stressed the importance of Russian-Arab commercial and economic relations, the necessity of strengthening them, and using the resources and potential of both sides in the optimal way pointing out that Russia is tied with the Arab states by friendship and partnership relations and invariably stands for the rights of the Arabs. The speeches also noted the contribution of the Russian-Arab Business Council in bolstering and fostering these relations.
The dates of holding the session concurred with the official opening ceremony of the First Arab Exhibition in Moscow “Arabia-Expo”, in which representatives of 14 Arab states and a number of Russian companies and organizations took part.
During the work meeting the following heads of the Arab delegations and sponsors addressed the participants: President of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Iraq Jaafar Rasul Jaafar, Chairman of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce of Egypt Mohammed Abdel Fattah Al-Misry, JSC “Solidere” (a sponsor of the event) Board member Abdel Rahman Solh, “AFG Capital Management” (a sponsor of the event) Executive Director Kevin Gua Keng Leng.
Within the framework of the meeting three work groups discussed the Russian-Arab cooperation in such spheres as banking, water resources and power industry, high-tech and telecommunication, IT and innovation technologies, the development of tourism, holding and organizing exhibitions and conferences.
The participants unanimously agreed that though the Russian-Arab economic relations have recently witnessed a considerable progress, they nevertheless don’t fully correspond to the existing opportunities. The discussions held confirmed the determination of both Arab and Russian businessmen to develop and strengthen these relations on a mutually beneficial basis.
In follow-up of the proposals expressed and discussions held the participants achieved the following conclusions:
First: they stressed the necessity of carrying out the work aimed at facilitating bilateral trade exchange through creation of corresponding incentives for businessmen and intensification of mutual visits of officials and businessmen.
Second: the participants marked the efforts exerted for organizing the first Russian-Arab exhibition “Arabia-Expo”, which was held in Moscow on October 22-24, 2008 and noted its importance as a major Russian-Arab event held in Russia for boosting Russian-Arab economic relations and mutually beneficial cooperation. Also they pointed out the active participation in the exhibition of a wide range of Arab and Russian companies and organizations. The participants called for undertaking the necessary efforts to hold such exhibitions annually.
Third:Р’В it is necessary to diversify the work aimed at establishing bilateral Russian-Arab business councils so that they would include all Arab states, taking into account the importance of these councils for detecting the opportunities of cooperation in certain sectors of economy, and especially in the investment sphere in the framework of the implementation of the joint projects and using Russian investments, first of all in such sectors as high-tech, banking, oil and gas complex, and in other sectors which are of vital importance for both sides. These sectors are, first of all, water clearing and desalination technologies, petrochemistry, metallurgy, heavy industry, chemical fertilizers production, wood working, leather production industry, shipbuilding, including building fishing trawler ships and fishing equipment, the production of cables and ready-made blocks for housing construction, producing cars and other vehicles.
Forth: it was suggested to set the task of attracting Russian investments into the development of telecommunications and information technologies, exchange of commercial information, assisting and developing the processes of people’s movements and movements of goods and making the concrete procedures easy.
Fifth: the participants emphasized the necessity of stimulating the execution of combined projects in the field of energy – both in its foremost fields and in the field of service - in particular, in storage, transportation and treatment of oil and oil products; the necessity for using the experience of Russian companies in prospecting gas fields, and also for achieving the stability at the international oil and gas markets.
Sixth: it was deemed necessary to stimulate the cooperation in the field of science and technology, and also support and promotion of scientific experiments, using the present staff of technical specialists and highly qualified employees, and developing the partner relations in the field of higher education, scientific research and professional training.
Seventh: the participants noted the importance of paying the constant attention to the coordination of actions and the cooperation between Russia and the Arab countries in the field of achieving the stability in the oil market and keeping reasonable prices for oil, that satisfy the needs of its producers and at the same time meet the interests of industrially developed countries – consumers of oil, which can help in providing the international economic growth.
Eighth: they also noted the significance of work in the field of strengthening the cooperation among the organizations, that work in the field of standards and quality control in the Arab countries and the corresponding instances in Russia, in order to achieve an agreement over reciprocal acceptance of standards, which would assist in facilitating the delivery of industrial goods from the Arab worldР’В to Russia.
Ninth: the Session emphasized the importance of continuing the work on the execution of the “Russian-Arab House” project in Moscow.
Dmitry Medvedev sent his greetings to the participants in the Eighth session of the Russian-Arab Business Council (RABC) and the Arabia-EXPO exhibition
Mr Medvedev’s message reads, in particular:
“In a relatively short space of time the RABC and the bilateral business councils acting under its aegis have made a big contribution to activating Russian-Arab trade, economic, investment, scientific, technical and humanitarian ties.Р’В
The organisation of the Arabia-EXPO 2008 exhibition is a clear illustration of this work. The exhibition will serve as a new forum for contact between Russian and Arab businesspeople and an opportunity to sign mutually beneficial contracts. We think that expanding ties between our business communities is the main reserve we can draw on to build up cooperation between Russia and the Arab countries and give it new substance. It is important that the forum will discuss cooperation in traditional sectors and also promising new areas for work together such as science-intensive and innovative technology.
We place particular importance on developing the financial and investment partnership between Russia and the Arab countries. Energy security and stability on the energy markets are also very relevant issues today. In this context, I am sure that the open exchange of views you will have will be useful for all participants.
Russia will continue its consistent efforts to build closer ties with the Arab world for the good of our countries’ and peoples’ prosperity and wellbeing and in the interests of regional and global stability”.
I wish fruitful work to the participants of the forum.