Russian-Emirati Business Forum

Russian-Emirati Business Forum organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Russian-Arab Business Council, and the Federation of Emirati Chambers of Commerce and Industry took place in Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on September 10, 2007. Leading representatives of business circles in the two countries, as well as companies interested in entering either Russian or Emirati markets were between the participants. The Forum took place within the Russian-Emirati summit.

The forum concentrated on providing a new impetus to the development of bilateral contacts and investment cooperation, promoting of the previously reached agreements, and defining plans for future cooperation.

Mr. Hamas Al-Yamahi, Member of the Board of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the United Arab Emirates greeted the participants and confirmed the importance of the event that took place within the visit of the President Vladimir Putin to the UAE. Mr. Al-Yamahi stated that the Forum would contribute to the promotion of the bilateral relations in all spheres of cooperation and mentioned the big role played by the Russian-Arab Business Council in the extension of the business relations between Russian and Arab entrepreneurs, as well as the importance of the creation of the Russian-Emirati Business Council in uniting the businessmen from both countries.

On behalf of the Russian side the floor was given Mr. Igor Levitin, Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, who stated that the Russian-Emirati Business Forum was an important event and that the potential for bilateral cooperation between Russia and the Emirates was not being used to the full extent because of the lack of information about each other. The Minister then made a presentation of the contemporary trends in the transport complex of the Russian Federation and spoke about the most notable and promising investment projects in the sphere of national transport infrastructure construction.

Deputy Minster of Economy of the UAE for planning Mr. Abdel Aziz told the participants that the Emirati side put high hopes on the visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Emirates and was expecting the Forum to bring fruitful results. Mr. Abdel Aziz mentioned the favorable climate for investment in his country and profitable conditions for both national and foreign business. He was also certain that the Forum would contribute to the realization of many projects, which was the goal of many businessmen from both countries.

The President of the Russian side in the Russian-Arab Business Council Mr. Vladimir Yevtushenkov delivered a speech at the Forum stating that a significant mutual understanding and progress in the joint projects had been achieved during the existence of the Council. Mr. Yevtushenkov, President of the Board of the JSFC “SISTEMA”, voiced confidence concerning the new impetus given by the Forum to the mutually beneficial cooperation and the growth of the trade turnover between Russia and the Emirates.

The floor was also given to Mr. Oteiba Said Ahmed Al-Oteiba, Member of the Board of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Aslambek Aslakhanov, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation who talked about the prospects of creation of the Russian-Islamic Investment Fund, Mr. Ahmed Belhasa, Chairman of the Emirati side in the Russian-Emirati Business Council, and his counterpart on the Russian side Mr. Valery Okulov. Mrs. Tatiana Gvilava, Director of the Russian-Arab Business Council, invited all the participants to take part in the next joint session of the Russian-Arab Business Council and the forthcoming Arabia-EXPO exhibition planned to take place in Moscow on 22-24 October 2008. The Forum also hosted the presentation of the new Russian Satellite TV News Channel in Arabic “Rusiya Al-Yaum” (Russia Today) performed by Mr. Sergey Frolov, Director General of “TV-Novosti” Non-Profit Organization.

After the plenary session the participants took part in three “round tables” devoted to the main vectors of cooperation. The businessmen and businesswomen from the two countries discussed issues of joint participation in projects in industry, high technologies, telecommunications, IT, innovations, mass-media, tourism, transport, exhibitions, stock exchange, IPO, construction and development. A dedicated meeting of businesswomen took place within the Forum framework in order to discuss the preliminary stage of the creation of the International Women’s Business Council. The parties agreed to exchange representatives for the International Women’s Business Forum in Moscow and “Woman is an effective partner in the economy” business forum in Abu-Dhabi.

The official part of the Forum culminated in the Fourth Session of the Russian-Emirati Business Council. The participants noted with satisfaction the results of the visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Emirates during which the parties signed a number of important documents. The results of the “round table” discussions were also summarized. The participants agreed to promote development of maritime traffic between Russian and Emirati ports, technology transfer and technical information exchange in order to implement the expertise of Russian companies in different fields, including gas transportation and ship building. The participants also discussed bilateral issues in other spheres and plans for the near future.

Finally the parties stated that holding the Russian-Emirati Business Forum within the summit meeting was a proof of the progressive advance in the bilateral cooperation development and voiced confidence in the fact that the joint work would bring the desired results.