Irkutsk
Ulan-Ude

Blagoveshchensk
Chita
Yakutsk

Birobidzhan
Vladivostok
Khabarovsk

Magadan
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Anadyr
Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky
Moscow

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Different politicians - for different oceans?

Why Russia and the United States should begin to interact in the Asia-Pacific region as actively as in the Atlantic - explained in Yakutsk

19-20 July, 2017, at the regular meeting of the Russian-American Pacific Partnership (RAPP) in Yakutsk, the expansion of Russian-American cooperation was discussed. Now it is very different in the west and in the east, which can be seen even in the case of large forums: at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the US business delegation is one of the most representative, and there is virtually no intercountry dialogue at the Eastern Economic Forum. EastRussia gives some of the most interesting views from the RAPP meeting.

Different politicians - for different oceans?
Photo: shutterstock.com
Representatives of federal ministries, regional authorities, business and educational institutions took part in the RAPP meeting from the Russian side. The American side was represented by a delegation of the US Consulate General in Vladivostok and business representatives. Following the two days of the meeting, the RAPP Secretariat will develop, within a month, a final resolution containing the main conclusions, proposals and recommendations.

According to the deputy director of the Department of Europe, North America and international organizations of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia Dmitry Sazhin, Despite the existence of obvious difficulties in bilateral relations, effective economic cooperation between Russia and the United States remains. He noted that 400 from the representatives of 144 foreign companies that participated in the 21 st Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) arrived from the USA. In addition, for the first time after a three-year break within the SPIEF, Russia-US business dialogue was held, in the work of which Russian President Vladimir Putin took part. This in itself speaks about the possibility of constructing a constructive dialogue between our countries in the business sphere. However, so far it is only about big business.

President of the Board and Executive Director of RAPP Derek Norberg Expressed an opinion on the need to separate Russia's relations with the United States in the Pacific from the Atlantic. In particular, when dealing with issues related to the Pacific and the Arctic, both countries need to be removed from disagreements in the Euro-Atlantic area. Relations between Russia and the United States in the Pacific show only a positive story, unlike the confrontations that were between the capitals of the countries.

Speaking about the policy of the Russian Federation on the development of the Russian Far East, Norberg noted the need to establish contacts and cooperation not only with the countries of Asia but also with the United States of America. A vivid example of the fact that Minvostokrazvitiya does not even consider the possibility of US participation in the development of the Far Eastern Federal District is the Eastern Economic Forum (WEF). At the key business event in the East of Russia, there is no site for a Russia-US country dialogue.

EastRussia help. In 1994, in Seattle (USA), Russian President Boris Yeltsin initiated the activation of ties between the Russian Far East and Western US states. The first meeting of the initiative working group, which was subsequently reformatted by the Russian-American Pacific Partnership, was held in 1995. The activities of RAPP are aimed at developing trade and investment cooperation between the Far Eastern regions of Russia and the Pacific states of the United States. The partnership ensures dialogue between governments, business communities and administrations of all participating regions. Now RAPP includes representatives of 11 regions of the Russian Federation (9 regions of the Far Eastern Federal District, Transbaikalia and the Republic of Buryatia) and 8 US states (5 states on the US west coast: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, and the states of Colorado, Idaho and Texas).



Norberg's vision was supported by the meeting participants who recommended that RAPP contact the Ministry of Eastern Development and Roskongress with an official proposal to include issues of bilateral cooperation between the United States and Russia in the WEF business program, primarily in the areas of trade, investment and tourism.

US Consul General in Vladivostok Michael Kiis Commented that he does not yet know whether the US diplomatic corps located in Vladivostok will take part in the Eastern Economic Forum, since there was not yet a decision on this issue at the US Embassy in Russia. As for business representatives, he noted that American business has the right to decide whether to participate in the WEF or not.

At the same time, Kiys noted that one of the main missions of the US Consulate General in Vladivostok is to help develop trade ties. In his opinion, one of the biggest problems in the way of intensification of trade ties between the two countries is the lack of information about the Far East of Russia and an extensive marketing campaign to promote the opportunities of the Far East. When American business talks about Russia, it means it is the European part of Russia. In the opinion of the diplomat, the strategy of the Russian authorities to position Russia as a European country does not allow Russia's relations with the APR countries to reach a new level.

President of the "Primorsky Chamber of Commerce and Industry" Union and Chairman of the Board of the Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Far Eastern Federal District Boris Stupnitsky Was elected last year as the Director of the RAPP Secretariat in Russia. Over the past year, he managed to communicate with a large number of businessmen from Russia and the United States. According to him, many US companies are not ready to conduct business in Russia, since the market of our country is not as promising and great as the markets of Asian countries. However, Russia can attract business and investors by creating special conditions. Over the past few years, Russia has adopted 17 federal laws aimed at developing the Russian Far East, and 16 laws are still under development.

It is also necessary that Russian entrepreneurs do not look at Americans only as investors and look more boldly at the American market. RAPP is ready to help in this, both in terms of legal advice, and through establishing business contacts. Mr. Stupnitsky said that under the conditions of Russia's economic reorientation from imports for export it is natural that there is some decline and the trade balance is changing. This should be approached with understanding and try to bring information to the business.

Boris Stupnitsky focused on the need to preserve RAPP, since so far RAPP is the only interaction platform aimed at organizing a direct dialogue between the regional administrations of the Far East and Trans-Baikal of the Russian Federation and the western states of the United States, the business and scientific circles of the Russian Federation and the United States. In general, he sees the mission of RAPP in helping the emergence of Russian-American business relations at the level of small and medium businesses.