The Board of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation met to discuss the issue of ‘Formation of the New Image of Russian Trade Representations in Foreign States’


The Board of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation discussed prospects of reformation of the trade representations system during its meeting on the issue ‘Formation of the New Image of Trade Representations of the Russian Federation in Foreign States’ held on October 31, 2012.

This meeting that was presided by the Minister A.R. Belousov was attended by heads of Russian trade representations in foreign states, representatives of federal ministries and institutions, heads of the Russian Federation constituent entities, large Russian companies, business associations and economic universities.

“Russia is one of the few countries having global economic interests all over the world, on all lands and continents”, A.R. Belousov began his speech. “But if we consider what these economic interests are in essence, they are essentially interests of large and medium companies that are entering the international market and positioning themselves in the global market. These are also interests of regions that propose their own projects requiring investments, competing for investors and needing relative support of investments in global markets”.

The institute of trade representations that was initially designated to effect state foreign trade monopoly does not use its potential and capabilities in full; solution of foreign trade tasks, promotion and protection of Russia’s interests in the global market require formation of the new type of the trade representations system: such representations shall be customer-focused, efficient, motivated, compliant with requirements set by Russian companies and modern management standards. In this connection the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation together with the Russian Foreign Trade Academy developed a draft Concept of formation of the ‘new image’ of trade representations of the Russian Federation (2012 - 2016) providing for reformation of the existing trade representations system in three stages.

According to A.R. Belousov the essence of the Concept comprises five steps. At first it is necessary to build relations binding both parties to attain particular goals and results and focus on implementation of particular and clear projects. The second step implies building of the motivation system. “First of all, these are not KPI, to be more precise, not so much KPI”, the Minister stressed. “We are speaking about linking of career paths of trade representations’ officials to their contribution to solution of the tasks set”. The third step requires building of the organizational model, development of regulations, and creation of organizational processes. The forth step relates to solution of staff issues, beginning with attestation and creation of the staff reserve system and rotation. The fifth step provides for the network ‘tuning’, optimization of the geographical structure of trade representations. According to the Minister, “the problem is that the geographical configuration of our network of trade representations strongly deviates from needs of our country and business. The most promising regions in the order of preference are South-East Asia, Africa, Latin America, while our trade representations are mainly concentrated in Europe. That is why we planning to gradually settle this issue and reorient the system”.

The draft Concept was presented at the Board meeting by the Deputy Minister A.E. Likhachev. The First Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation I.I. Shuvalov, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs A.N. Shokhin, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation A.I. Denisov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan R.N. Minnikhanov, Director General of Rosatom SC S.V. Kirienko, the rector of the Higher School of Economics State Institution Ya.I. Kuzminov took part in the discussion. “The main task is to create an institute that will support foreign economic activity of the Russian Federation”, I.I. Suvalov summarized.

The Board resolved to approve the draft Concept. The draft is planned to be submitted for consideration of the Government on November 15, 2012 after it is improved following the discussion held.

Prior to the Board meeting, the Minister A.R. Belousov signed agreements on foreign trade cooperation between the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the following companies: Russian Нelicopters, JSC, JSC Russian Railways, Joint Stock Company Inter RAO UES, OJSC Concern PVO Almaz-Antey,  Russian Technologies SC, Rosatom SC, KAMAZ OAO, OPORA RUSSIA All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization of Small and Medium-Sized Business, as well as the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan, Kaluzhskaya, Nizhegorodskaya, Sverdlovskaya and Ulyanovskaya oblast.

The agreements provide for rendering organizational, informational and consultative support by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation with engagement of Russian trade representations in foreign states (earlier similar agreements were made with Mechel OAO, JSC UAC, Joint Stock Company Inter RAO - Export, MMC Norilsk Nickel, UC RUSAL, OJSC Power Machines, AvtoVAZ OAO, Renova Group and Tulskaya oblast). The agreements are of the framework nature: in future there will be additional documents signed that will set a list of projects requiring promotion abroad. “Such regions as Tatarstan, Kaluzhskaya, and Ulyanovskaya oblast have already clear needs for attraction of foreign investments. To this end we must create a proper image abroad and offer a number of projects”, the Minister noted upon signature of the agreements. “We will support regions in this effort”.

According to A.R. Belousov, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation proposes to make agreements on foreign trade cooperation with another 15-20 large companies as well as with some constituent entities of the Russian Federation.