15th Swiss-Russian Mixed Commission a success
JCC participated in the 15th Session of the Mixed economic commission Switzerland-Russian Federation that took place on 10 December in Bern.
Mr Vitaly L. Mutko, Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation (RF), and Mrs Livia Leu, Delegate of the Swiss Federal Council for trade agreements and Head of the Bilateral economic relations at Seco, were leading each delegation. Other delegates of the Swiss private sector included representatives of Economiesuisse, the Swiss Watch industry, Swissmem, Fasmed, Global Enterprise-S-GE and Scienceindustries. On the Russian side, the delegation included members of the Duma, representatives the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the RF, Renova, private and public banks. Amongst the topics discussedwere the implementation of the Economic Plan 2011-2013, as well as some concrete problems encountered by Swiss companies.
Minister Mutko noted that Russia had improved by 20 points its rank in the “Ease of Doing Business” rating in 2013. He underlined the importance of Swiss investments in Russia, innovation, clean technology and the transfer of technology.
Many speakers expressed the need to stimulate commercial relations between the Russian regions and the Swiss cantons.
JCC announced several events that will take place next year to promote bilateral Swiss-Russian business in the regions of the Russian Federation. It also informed about the recent developments of the Chamber, the increased number of members from all regions of Switzerland, and its many activities as the leading private organisation in Switzerland promoting business with Russia and all countries of the CIS.
The celebration of 200 years of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Russia (1814-2014) will provide opportunities to organise special events and economic missions. Ambassador Pierre Helg discussed the program the Swiss Embassy is preparing, which includes an official visit of the President of the Confederation, Mr. Didier Burkhalter, in May 2014 to Moscow. An official visit of Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann is also planned in autumn.
The following topics were of particular interest:
1) An official working group was set up in 2013 to help solve problems encountered by private enterprises between sessions of the Mixed Economic Commission. This group is co-chaired by Mr. Julien Thöni, Head of the Trade Division of the Swiss Embassy in Moscow, and Mrs. Elena Danilova, Director of the European Department, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. Private companies are welcome to use this new facility should they require intervention or advice.
2) A Taskforce for Interregional Cooperation has been established to develop direct links and activities on the level of regions and cantons. JCC represents Switzerland in the tasforce and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, represents Russia.