Ladies and gentlemen!
Welcome speech by the President of the Government of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin to the participants in the meeting of the US-Russian Business Council
On behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation, I am pleased to welcome participants to the annual meeting of the US-Russia Business Council.
Over the decades, the Council has actively contributed to the development of trade, economic and investment cooperation between Russia and the United States. It plays a positive role in strengthening constructive dialogue between the business communities of the two countries.
It is important that regardless of the state of Russian-American political relations, your organization has always supported the maintenance of pragmatic and mutually beneficial cooperation, as well as the implementation of common economic and investment projects.
The Council provides effective and multifaceted assistance to entrepreneurs, including small and medium-sized enterprises. This helps to create new jobs. All of this stimulates economic growth in Russia and the United States.
The work of the US-Russia Business Council assumes particular importance in the context of unilateral sanctions imposed on Russia and new global economic challenges. You support the improvement of the business climate and you oppose barriers to trade and investment.
I want to stress that confrontation gets no one anywhere. It restricts business initiative, opposes the interests of a particular company, and limits business opportunities.
Russia maintains a fundamentally different point of view. We continue to improve the conditions for the activities of foreign companies, including American ones. Of course, we must respond to the discriminatory and illegal restrictions imposed on us. It is not our choice and we are not going to pose any obstacles.
On the contrary, we support the active presence of the main US companies in the Russian market. We note their great practical contribution to the activity of the Advisory Council on Foreign Investments, which I chair. Its next meeting will take place the following week in Moscow.
We welcome the participation of American entrepreneurs in high-level international economic forums held in our country. We expect a similar approach to Russian affairs from the American leadership.
It is important that Russian-American trade and economic relations rest on a solid foundation. Despite an unfavorable environment, bilateral trade turnover, which declined last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shows a steady upward trend.
In January-July 2021, bilateral trade increased by 47% compared to the same period last year, and amounted to nineteen trillion eight hundred million dollars.
In addition, Russian exports increased by sixty percent and reached almost ten billion dollars. Imports from the United States increased by a quarter to exceed $ 16 billion. The statistics are most illustrative.
I am convinced that there are many promising areas of cooperation between our countries. For example, Russian and American companies could participate in joint projects in the Arctic to preserve unique ecosystems and ensure balanced development in the region.
We can and must fight global climate change together. And fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Russian government considers it important to create favorable conditions for the development of Russian-American trade, economic and investment cooperation, the joint exploration of new business opportunities and the launch of promising projects to promote practical interaction and increase the prosperity of the Russian and American peoples.
To end this intervention, I would like to wish you fruitful discussions, fruitful work and the implementation of all plans.