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“Large-scale international platform”: summing up the first results of the International Business Week, which took place in Ufa

Representatives of 24 countries took part in the forum.  Photo by the press service of the International Business Week.  Photo by the press service of the International Business Week

Representatives of 24 countries took part in the forum. Photo by the press service of the International Business Week. Photo by the press service of the International Business Week

From December 14 to 16, Ufa hosted the International Business Week. The annual economic event, which has already taken place for the 15th time this year, brought together more than 3,000 representatives of government, business and the expert community. More than 50 business events were held on the sidelines of the Forum, at which more than 500 speakers of the federal and international level spoke, including the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, the Deputy Minister of Construction and Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation Konstantin Mikhailik, the deputy of the Venneto Regional Council Stefano Valdegamberi and the SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming . Yes, you read that right, 24 countries took part in the event in person and online – from the UK, Germany and France to Turkey, Iran, China and a number of countries from Asia and Africa.

Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Bashkortostan Andrey Nazarov summed up the first results of the forum.

ADAPTING TO SANCTIONS

“Business Week is a large-scale international platform, – noted Andrey Nazarov. “Only in the first two days of work on the sidelines of our anniversary forum, almost 30 agreements were signed worth more than 36 billion rubles.”

The Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic said that the value of the International Business Week lies in the fact that it allows not only to develop new contacts with foreign entrepreneurs and investors, but also, in general, sets the vector for the development of foreign economic activity. This year has been special in terms of the unprecedented number of sanctions imposed against Russia. But these challenges have been transformed into new opportunities, and the Russian economy has managed to adapt to the sanctions.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the meeting of the Ufa Dialogue international working group. During the discussion, it was revealed that the positions of the governments and businesses of unfriendly countries differ significantly, and the European business community is interested in continuing business interaction with Russian partners.

This year, new approaches have been developed to build foreign trade activities, support exporters and foreign investors. All these initiatives are packaged in a new 5S export strategy, which was evaluated by representatives of the Russian Export Center. It includes five main elements: speed, service, synergy, modern infrastructure and incentives. The experience of the export strategy “5S” was noted First Deputy Chairman of the Federal Government Andrey Belousov.

“The effectiveness of the course we have chosen is evidenced by the fact that, despite all the restrictions, today we maintain trade and economic relations with 113 countries of the world, – clarified head of the Republican Cabinet. – According to the results of 9 months, the foreign trade turnover increased by 13.5%. It amounted to almost 4 billion dollars. We continue our investment cooperation. The geography of joint projects is quite wide – more than 10 countries. Projects with foreign participation account for about $90 billion of investments. We have always paid special attention to the development of cooperation with Asian countries. In modern realities, this is becoming a strategically important and critical area. Thus, foreign trade turnover with the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization amounted to $1.4 billion. This is almost 30% higher than last year’s level.

Besides, Andrey Nazarov emphasized that Bashkortostan positions itself as an effective hub for Chinese and other Asian companies to enter the Russian market. However, this initiative requires further discussion and elaboration. He also stressed that a good communication platform for such purposes was the forum “Small Business in the Regions of the SCO and BRICS Member States”, which was first held in Ufa in 2015. The head of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic noted that it is necessary to resume this tradition and hold a forum next year in Ufa.

FLAGSHIPS OF PETROCHEMISTRY

Head of Bashkortostan Radiy Khabirov within the framework of the International Business Week, he took part in the BSC grand section as a flagship for the development of the chemical industry in Russia. The head of the region thanked the leadership of the enterprises of the oil and gas and chemical sectors for effective interaction with the republic and the high social responsibility of business.

“The economic and social stability of Bashkortostan is closely related to the efficient operation of our largest enterprises. And we are very grateful to the teams of our flagships in the oil and gas and chemical industries for their tremendous work in today’s difficult conditions. This is primarily Bashneft and Bashkir Soda Company, – noted Radiy Khabirov. – Thanks to you, we are fulfilling two most important tasks – ensuring the development of the economy and supporting the Russian Armed Forces. With your participation, we were able to take care of the families of servicemen who are defending our Motherland today. Kudos to you for your invaluable help!

Prime Minister of Bashkortostan Andrei Nazarov (left) and Head of Bashkortostan Radiy Khabirov.  Photo by the press service of the International Business Week

Prime Minister of Bashkortostan Andrei Nazarov (left) and Head of Bashkortostan Radiy Khabirov. Photo by the press service of the International Business Week

The participants of the session discussed current trends in the development of the chemical industry in Russia, the prospects for the development of domestic technologies and materials, including in terms of import substitution, as well as the possibility of expanding financial instruments for the implementation of industry investment projects.

PILOTING RESIDENTS

In 2022, the Turkish marketplace Turkish Exporter was accredited in Russia. Bashkortostan turned out to be the region where the platform piloted its first residents. About this at the section “The Republic of Bashkortostan – the Republic of Turkey: Industrial Dialogue in the New Economic Reality” Director General of the Russian-Turkish Dialogue Association, Head of the Russian-Turkish Working Group at the RSPP Arsen Ayupov.

“This is a fairly large B2B marketplace. Last year, Bashkiria turned out to be the region where he piloted his first residents. We brought 20 companies to the platform free of charge, they were placed there, and as a result, the first export contract was concluded,”said the expert.

According to Ayupov, since 2022, Turkish Exporter has been operating at full capacity and has become an excellent alternative to the outgoing Western sites, a good opportunity to enter the Turkish market and the markets of the Middle East.

It should be noted that during the first days of the International Business Week 2022 forum alone, almost 30 agreements worth more than 36 billion rubles were signed. One of the most significant was the concession agreement on the creation of the Interuniversity Student Campus of the Eurasian Scientific and Educational Center of the world level.” This is the beginning of the creation of a modern scientific and educational infrastructure in the region.

The range of residents of the special economic zone Alga and PSEDA has expanded. There will be launched new production of fiber and pectin substances for 4.5 billion rubles, the creation of a house-building plant for modular structures and buildings for 9 billion rubles.

On the final day of the event, another 25 agreements and memorandums worth 57 billion rubles were signed, including concession agreements for the construction of 6 schools in the cities of Ufa, Sterlitamak, Neftekamsk and the Ufimsky district worth more than 12 billion rubles. In agriculture, a new agro-park worth 25 billion rubles will be built. Thus, the “contract” capitalization of the International Business Week will amount to 93 billion rubles.

“SDG REMAINS THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY”

Andrey Nazarov held a strategic session “Digitalization of regional economic and urban management” of the “Smart City” working group under the Ministry of Construction of Russia. Deputy Minister of Construction and Housing and Public Utilities of the Russian Federation Konstantin Mikhailik stressed that at the present time the construction industry has a multiplier effect for the entire economy. He paid special attention to the fact that an effective and useful tool has been created in the republic as the Control Center of the Republic of Bashkortostan.

“The SDG that exists in the region, it is not in vain that it remains the bestthe minister noted. – Colleagues see everything and respond promptly. They also see social problems that affect the development of the city. It’s a very difficult process.”

Also participating in the discussion Executive Secretary of the SCO Business Council Sergei Kanavsky. He told the meeting participants about the importance of International Business Week 2022 for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

“Interesting questions were raised at the forum, results were obtained, the possibilities of creating regional platforms were tested, which are the initiators of many ideas. We came up with the idea to unite the efforts of the regions and the SCO Business Council and organize a single platform that will allow the society of the regions to interact both at the regional level and at the federal level. Ufa becomes the center of new ideas, new opportunities and new cooperation”, – emphasized Sergey Kanavsky.

Executive Director for Transport and Infrastructure of the Eurasian Development Bank Sergey Paseko thanked the organizers of the event for the opportunity to participate in the forum, and also noted that the construction of the Eurasian Campus will allow students, including those from the countries of the European Union, to exchange experiences.

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