The American Chamber of Commerce in Russia helds its 14th annual Business & Investment Conference yesterday on the theme "Russia's Business & Investment Climate: Challenges & Opportunities." A capacity audience of AmCham member company executives attended the event at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow.
[photograph from left (click to enlarge): Maxim Oreshkin, Ivan Tchakarov, Arkady Dvorkovich, Alexis Rodzianko, Alexey Kudrin, Bob Foresman]
Speakers included Alexis Rodzianko, President & CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia; Arkady Dvorkovich, RF Deputy Prime Minister; Alexey Kudrin, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences, St. Petersburg State University; Bob Foresman, Barclays Group Country Head, Russia; Maxim Oreshkin, Director of the Long-term Strategic Planning Department, RF Ministry of Finance; Ivan Tchakarov, Head of Russia / CIS Economics, Citi Research; Naira Adamian, General Manager of Johnson & Johnson, LLC; Valery Draganov, President of Avtotor Holding; Myron Wasylyk, CEO, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan & CIS, PBN Hill+Knowlton Strategies; Alexander Ivlev, Country Managing Partner for Russia, EY; Vyacheslav Orekhov, Managing Director, SAP CIS; Piotr Galitzine, Chairman, TMK IPSCO; and Dan Russell, President of USRBC.
AmCham thanks major sponsors EY and Nike; and general sponsors DOW, ExxonMobil, International Paper, and PBN Hill+Knowlton Strategies.
On Thursday, September 11, the European Union agreed to place new sanctions on Russia. (The measures were approved on Monday and are to go into effect on Friday, September 12). Following the announcement by the EU, on Thursday, President Obama issued a statement saying that the United States would join in a coordinated effort with the EU by also increasing it own sanctions on Russia. To read the White House statement, please click here. To read a statement by the President of the European Council, please click here.
AmCham will continue keeping its membership up-do-date on these developments as they unfold through regular mailings, updates, and roundtable events.
AmCham Member Sanctions Analysis is a new section of the AmCham website that provides a platform for AmCham members to share their analysis of sanctions against Russia. The section will be updated on an ongoing basis to reflect new developments and will serve as an information resource to help AmCham member companies guage the potential impact on their business operations in Russia.
On Tuesday, July 29, the U.S. Department of Treasury imposed prohibitions on additional entities operating within the financial-services sector of the Russian economy. Also on Tuesday, the EU announced its own sanctions, targeting the oil and defense sectors.
In light of this, on Thursday, July 31, at 5:00 p.m., AmCham organized and hosted a round-table discussion on the new sanctions, the crisis in Ukraine, and possible implications for AmCham-member businesses operating in the Russian Federation. The session was hosted by AmCham President & CEO Alexis Rodzianko and was off-the-record. Alexander Bychkov of Baker & McKenzie and William Muntean and Scott Pozil, both from the U.S. Embassy, also took part in the roundtable, speaking to a capacity audience. AmCham hosted a similar round table on July 24 following the announcement of further sanctions on July 16.
The U.S. actions that were announced on Tuesday target three state-owned banks and one state-owned defense technology entity, prohibiting U.S. citizens from providing new financing to these entities. The measures coincide with actions taken to suspend U.S. export credit and development finance to Russia. To read more about the prohibitions, please visit the US Embassy in Moscow’s announcement and Treasury’s sanction identification update.
The July 31 round table was part of AmCham's continuing series of policy events that provide a closed forum for AmCham member companies to discuss their concerns about the potential impact of the current situation and what it means for U.S. businesses in Russia.
To read the U.S. Treasury's announcement and detailed account of the sanctions announced on July 16, please click here. To read a recent response from Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, please click here.
AmCham's Innovation & Technology Committee held a joint networking event in Silicon Valley on July 14 in conjunction with Silicon Valley Bank, Global Venture Alliance (GVA) LaunchGurus and the GVA LaunchGurus Startup Academy. The event, entitled "Building a Bridge to Silicon Valley," brought together over 60 U.S. and Russian investors, venture capitals, entrepreneurs and business people, and was moderated by Gary Fowler, co-chair of AmCham's Innovation & Technology Committee and co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer of GVA LaunchGurus. Presentations on Russian/American investment opportunities were made by Andy Tsao, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Bank's Global Gateway; and Kamran Elahian, Chairman and co-founder of Global Catalyst Partners. Lawrence Wright, co-founder & CEO of GVA LaunchGurus, concluded the formal part of the evening by discussing the potential for creating partnerships between Silicon Valley and Russian startups.
The event was supported by Silicon Valley Bank and Russian Standard.
[photographs from left: Gary Fowler, GVA LaunchGurus; Andy Tsao, Silicon Valley Bank; Kamran Elahian, Global Catalyst Partners; Lawrence Wright, GVA LaunchGurus]
AmCham held it's annual Golf Tournament last Friday at Agalarov Golf and Country Club. AmCham congratulates the winners: First Place Net Score - VCAP Group; First Place Gross Score - Timoshin and Friends; Second Place Net Score - Agalarov 1; Third Place Net Score - Radius Group; Longest Drive - Anthony Wong; Longest Drive Ladies - Elvira Khaliullina; Closest to the Pin - Karen Gigolyan; Longest Putt - Sergey Chemerikin.
On July 10, AmCham Russia President & CEO Alexis Rodzianko participated in the plenary session of Russia's premier industrial trade fair, INNOPROM, in Ekaterinburg. Mr. Rodzianko later held private meetings with Andrey Sobolev, Sverdlovsk Oblast Minister for International and External Trade Relations; and Andrey Besedin, President of the Urals Chamber of Trade and Industry.
Following the INNOPROM events, Mr. Rodzianko moderated a meeting of the AmCham Business Club (ABC) in Ekaterinburg. Participants included executives of AmCham member companies 3M, Timken, AirFrance KLM, Manpower, Edwar International, Brainpower, Ancor, and Avento, as well as the US Consulate General in Ekaterinburg Otto Hans Van Maerssen.
Over a dozen AmCham member company senior executives attended a briefing on July 3 with Oleg Viugin, Chairman of MDM Bank. Mr. Viugin, an economist and former head of the RF Federal Financial Markets Service (FFMS), shared his thoughts on the impact of sanctions on direct investments in Russia. The event was held at the Mouravieff-Apostol House & Museum on Staraya Basmannaya street in Moscow and moderated by AmCham President & CEO Alexis Rodzianko.
[2nd photograph from left: Alexis Rodzianko, President & CEO, AmCham Russia; Oleg Viugin, Chairman, MDM Bank; 4th photograph: Mouravieff-Apostol House & Museum, Moscow]
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers are now preparing a newspaper advertisement in the U.S. stating that potential sanctions on Russian energy, defense, and financial sectors could hurt U.S. businesses and workers. The American Chamber of Commerce in Russia whole-heartedly agrees with, and supports, this position.
The ad specifically speaks out against the U.S. committing to unilateral sanctions against Russia. This position is entirely consistent with AmCham's position: AmCham has been urging the U.S. government that unilateral sanctions will seriously impede U.S. companies in the Russian markets, while at the same time creating better opportunities for businesses from competing countries.
Alexis Rodzianko, President & CEO of AmCham Russia, led a delegation of AmCham member company executives on a trade mission to Novosibirsk on June 20. Delegation members met with Acting First Deputy Governor of Novosibirsk Oblast Anatoliy Sobolev and Acting Minister of Economic Development Olga Molchanova to discuss issues relevant to business operations in the oblast and agree on steps for continued engagement between business and the regional Government. The group later gathered at the office of Parallels for a meeting of AmCham's Novosibirsk ABC (American Business Club). During the event, participants shared experience on some of the challenges, advantages, and specifics of doing business in Novosibirsk Oblast, as well as current and future prospects for investment in the region.
The trade mission delegation comprised executives of 16 AmCham member companies: AECOM Russia, Coca-Cola HBC Eurasia, Dupont Science & Technologies LLC, EMC Russia, GE, GE Healthcare, Kelly Services, Liberty Insurance, Manpower, Mars, Moore Stephens, Parallels, PepsiCo, Philip Morris Sales & Marketing Ltd., PwC, and Timken.
[photograph left: Meeting of AmCham's Novosibirsk ABC; center from left: Anatoliy Sobolev, Acting First Deputy Governor of Novosibirsk Oblast and Alexis Rodzianko, AmCham Russia President & CEO; right: AmCham delegation at the Novosibirsk Oblast Administration]
On June 3, AmCham President & CEO Alexis Rodzianko participated in a celebration of Caterpillar's 100 years operating in Russia. Hosted by Caterpillar Group President Stu Levenick, the event, entitled "100+ Commitment to the Way," featured a demonstration of Caterpillar machinary, including the 777G - the newest Cat® truck in the 100-ton size class. The celebration was held in Kirillovka in Moscow Oblast, close to Sheremetyevo International airport.
[photograph center: Alexis Rodzianko, AmCham President & CEO & Stu Levenick, Caterpillar Group President]
AmCham's President and CEO, Alexis Rodzianko, has been actively engaging with journalists in Russia and abroad in recent weeks regarding the crisis in Ukraine and U.S. sanctions against Russia. "AmCham stands for business, and sanctions are not good for business." he said recently. "However, sanctions are not something that AmCham can control and therefore the Chamber hopes that the politicians involved in the current crisis can resolve the issue as quickly as possible so that business people can go back to doing business."
On May 29, during its Annual Award Dinner, the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia announced the winners of its prestigious awards for 2013. AmCham congratulates the winners of the following awards: AmCham Company of the Year: AECOM; AmCham Business Person of the Year: Peter B. Necarsulmer (PBN Hill+Knowlton Strategies); AmCham SME of the Year: Pepeliaev Group; AmCham Committee Co-chairs of the Year: The Co-chairs of the AmCham Energy Committee, Andrew McGrahan (Chevron) and Gerald Rohan (American Institute of Business and Economics).
AmCham members with specific questions regarding the operations of U.S. sanctions related to the Ukraine crisis may use the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) compliance hotline at 1.800.540.6322 or present inquiries for formal interpretive guidance by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, in collaboration with the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), held a policy round table on April 9 on providing fair competition in public procurement. The event was moderated by Boris Tkachenko, head of IBLF Russia. Following opening remarks by Alexis Rodzianko, President & CEO of AmCham Russia, Helen Abramova, Business Standards Program Manager with IBLF Russia, spoke on business participation in improving public procurement in Russia; Oxana Migitko of Pepeliaev Group presented an initial analysis of the gaps in Federal Law No. 44 and the impact on companies participating in public tenders; Anton Subbot of Baker & McKenzie spoke on enforcement trends in public procurement tenders, and Konstantin Rybakov of KPMG outlined the main approaches to the development of Federal Law 223. (click here for background information).
Photographs from the event (click to enlarge):
from left: Alexis Rodzianko (AmCham),
center: Boris Tkachenko (IBLF Russia)
right: Helen Abramova
Alexis Rodzianko, President & CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce, recently spoke with The Moscow Times, reflecting on his personal experiences working in the Russian market, challenges he's faced and lessons learned, his family's unique place in Russian history, as well as some of his interests beyond business. Please click here for the full text of the interview, and click below for a short question-and-answer session at the AmCham headquarters in Moscow.
An improved one-window service for work permits & related documents is in place for AmCham member companies. This AmCham service is free of charge. Representatives of AmCham member companies should bring their documents to the AmCham office at Dolgorukovskaya 7, 14th floor (Ул. Долгоруковская 7, 14ый этаж). An authorized, dedicated AmCham member of staff collects submitted documents, transfers them to the Federal Migration Service offices, and transfers processed applications back to the AmCham office for collection by members.
In cooperation with the U.S. Embassy Consular Section AmCham has implemented a system to expedite the U.S. visa application process for AmCham members. Premium Processing allows AmCham member company employees to obtain a visa within five business days or less.
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