The Ministry of Economic Development is determined to restructure cardinally the work of Russian trade representative offices abroad and explicitly promote national companies at worldwide markets.
On October 12 Andrey Belousov, the Minister of Economic Development, signed first agreements with major Russian companies on assistance in foreign economic activity issues. The assistance agreements have been made with Mechel OAO, JSC «UAC», “Inter RAO – Export”, LLC, OJSC «MMC «Norilsk Nickel», UC RusAl, OJSC «Power machines», JSC «AVTOVAZ» and Renova Group; and they specify first of all organization, information and consultation support from the Ministry of Economic Development, particularly including support in the field of national business representatives’ cooperation with state authorities and agencies of foreign countries, inclusion of Russian projects items in the agenda of intergovernmental commissions and bilateral meetings of different formats. In the frame of the agreements the development of “road maps” on business dealing issues as well as the Ministry’s assistance in negotiations are actually expected.
Andrey Belousov made a point of the Ministry of Economic Development readiness to cooperate with any major companies having a clean scheme of work at the worldwide market.
However, he pointed out that first of all it is referred to non-oil and non-gas companies, which, according to him, are adequately represented abroad and provided with all possibilities to protect their own interests. “We should diversify export,” the Minister pointed out. “That’s why,” Andrey Belousov explained, “the agreements had been signed by the companies in the field of mechanic engineering, aircraft engineering as well as enterprises of the metallurgical sector which need to be supported nowadays.”
Today’s signatories are not the last companies the Ministry of Economic Development will cooperate with in promotion of their interests abroad. These activities are integral part of the course to reform profoundly the work of the foreign economic block. First of all it concerns trade representative offices whose activities are aimed at the global promotion of Russian companies at worldwide markets. According to Andrey Belousov, within this cooperation the obligations of the trade representative offices of Russia shall include the support of the national companies’ projects in countries falling within their sphere of interests.
“System of financing of our projects is being formed; here we are falling behind our global competitors, however we have a credit and contracts insurance agency, we have Vnesheconombank,” the Minister said. It is to be recalled that in July the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia and EXIAR have made a cooperation agreement. According to the Minister Belousov’s explanation, after the signature of the document the case is promotion of projects of “tens of billions of dollars”. The agreement intends to a close cooperation of two organizations in preparation and realization of measures aimed to support and develop the foreign economic activities. In accordance with the document exchange of the information on measures concerning promotion of export of Russian goods and investments including with the use of mechanism of export credit and investment, business and political risks insurance is expected.
“Each of the agreements signed on Friday,” the Minister explained, “will intend the concrete covenants with different companies concerning the support of one or another project.”
So, according to the Rusal Company, it is planning to cooperate closely with the Ministry of Economic Development in the frame of the potential joint project on construction of an aluminum smelter with project power up to 800 thousand tons per year with China partners in Siberia.
According to Roman Panov, the Director of the Department of Foreign Business Assets of OJSC «MMC «Norilsk Nickel», such tools of business support will be rather effective; they have already been approved in the world practice.
“Any our major competitors — the Brazilians, the Chinese — they benefit from such support at the state level and do it in effective way,” he pointed out. “That’s why,” the Company’s representative added, “new covenants with the Ministry of Economic Development will allow the national companies to promote their projects more actively and successfully.”
According to Panov, difficulties arise upon the settlement of the infrastructure issues and all major projects require settling them. “All projects of the company require the settlement of infrastructure problems: there is a need either of ports, or railways, or electricity, and in this case such consortium and financing will allow to look at particular risks and divide them,” he said.
Panov noted that Norilsk Nickel would need aid in realization of the project on development of large platinum deposits in the Republic of South Africa. “Now we are conducting more detailed assessment, it is a major project, that’s why the question of insurance of investments, finance instruments through Vnesheconombank will be important for us,” he clarified.
“Entrance ticket is very simple: companies should have clear conception of what they want at worldwide market,” Andrey Belousov said inviting other companies to cooperation.