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Yuri Shafranik: Russian-American business council to give a boost to business development between the two countries

Jun 9, 2008 15:01 Moscow Time

A new impetus has given to business interaction between Russia and the USA. The two sides have announced that they had established the U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC). In the exclusive interview for the Voice of Russia the president of the Union of Oil and Gas Industrialists of Russia Yuri Shafranik said that it might become a locomotive of new projects, including projects in third countries.

We have good examples with respect to third countries, where the Russian business, as is visible, is working flexibly and successfully and has a big potential. At the same time, for more successful and wide-scale work it is necessary that the other countries’ potentials should be involved as well. In this case we mean the U.S. political potential. Let’s consider some technological aspects. There’s no doubt that the U.S. business is very strong in the oil-and-gas machine building. However, one can’t underestimate the potential of Russian companies, having a broad experience of work in various fields and good contacts. In many countries Russian business, even if it lags behind in the field of technology, it lags behind neither in its flexibility nor in its mild integration into the country, or in a far quicker and reliable involvement in the contradictory economic reforms. Political interaction, experience and technologies, and also the ability to resolve difficult wide-scale tasks and besides, finances — all these in a coordinated package will ensure the best result. Not only in the interests of Russia and the USA but also in the interests of other countries. What’s more, speaking in the language of business, the risks are reducing considerably, Yuri Shafranik stressed.

One of such countries cooperation with which may be of great use for the U.S.-Russia business is Iraq, Yuri Shafranik says.

We are ready to work more actively in Iraq than others. We have good contacts in Iraq, and the local business community will receive us more willingly than anyone else. There’s no doubt that the USA has a strong political authority in Iraq. At the same time, not only in Iraq proper but also in the Middle East at large there has emerged a dire need for Iraq’s stable development and correspondingly, for the realization of many projects that could ensure such development. Therefore, Iraq seems to be a blessed spot for the application of joint efforts of the U.S. and Russian businessmen. Of course, we discussed all these problems during our meetings with our American colleagues. The U.S. businessmen are willing to cooperate – such was our impression. We understand each other well, Yuri Shafranik added.

He is sure that the establishment of the U.S.RBC Council means that the two countries’ business circles now get a reliable platform for cooperation. It is important that a new lever become operational in speeding up half-way movement. By the way, the Business Council has undertaken to prepare shortly enough a report about the possible start projects and proposals for their realization.