American-Russian Business Relations Keep Warm in Minnesota
In spite of an unfavorable political climate, American-Russian conversations continued in Minnesota through a business and innovation forum at the 2nd Annual Conference hosted by the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota in coordination with the Minnesota Trade Office last week, October 3-5.
“The goal of ARCCoM is to create pathways for businesses to form partnerships,” said Chairman Anatoli Korkin. “The three-day event brought in a variety of guests from a variety of backgrounds that I believe will be beneficial for each other down the road.”
Guests heard from Alexander Stadnik, Trade Representative of Russia, who forecasted a positive outlook on American businesses continuing in Russia despite sanctions. “Russia does business with countries all around the world including Latin America and China,” he remarked. “It’s a good idea for American businesses to stay inside Russia if they want to remain competitive once sanctions are repealed in years to come.”
Representatives from Russia’s “Silicon Valley” known as Skolkovo brought with them science and research analysts working with software and biomedical technology. Kirill Bulatov, Vice-President of Grants and Expertise, said Skolkovo is a place to live and work. US industry giants such as Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, General Electric, Boeing and Honeywell are already key partners.
“We are actively looking for innovative entrepreneurs and inventors who would be a good fit for Skolkovo,” Bulatov said.
Trade Representative of Tatarstan Robert Galiullin also shared about the creation of Special Economic Zones, inviting Minnesota businesses and manufacturers to become a part of the developments. An attractive place in Russia for international business, Galiullin listed several American businesses already working in the Tatarstan region including Minnesota’s Ecolab and 3M.
Galiullin highlighted the region’s goals for 2030 to “form and accumulate human capital, create public institutions which demand human capital, and create a comfortable environment for human capital development.”
ARCCoM hosted an in-depth workshop on Monday, October 3 at the University of St. Thomas where members and guests heard from American and Russian experts in the fields of US patents, life sciences, education, and the venture industry in America.
On Tuesday, October 4, the Minnesota Trade Office conducted an all-day business event “International Business and Innovation Forum: Gateway to Eastern Europe and Central Asia.” The MTO coordinated two panels, discussing Trade and Innovation.
Even though I’ve spent several years living and working in Russia, I still learned new things at this event,” said one of ARCCoM’s directors, Amanda Lynn Hinson.
While providing networking opportunities, the forum gave guests the chance to hear from those already doing trade with Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, and other Eastern European and Central Asian countries. Among many speakers were global leaders in the agricultural industry, R.D. Offut Company of Minnesota and Amity Technology of North Dakota.
Korkin said: “ARCCoM is already working on further development of the business support infrastructure and expanding a partnership network. The non-political organization will continue to push forward and be a support for Minnesota businesses that want to collaborate, innovate and promote good business relations in all Russian-speaking countries. While relations between USA and Russia are passing through cold winter days, the spring will come eventually.”