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The Future of US-Russian Business Relations

Recorded on October 16, 2007

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium

Since 2000, Russia has become a true magnet for foreign investment.  Russia was the best performing emerging market in 2000-2006.  In 2006, foreign investment in Russia comprised over $40 billion, while in the first seven months of 2007, it reached $70 billion.  Since 2001, U.S.-Russian bilateral trade has more than doubled to $24.5 billion.  The trade volume is still relatively low considering the size of the two economies.

 

While the growing Russian economy presents enormous trade and investment opportunities for U.S. business, it will also be important for the Russian government to establish more transparent rules for foreign and domestic business players, ensure a level playing field, and apply the rule of law equitably.  The sometimes blurred dividing lines between politics and business are disturbing for Western businesses, as is the Kremlin's tendency toward limiting foreign equity stakes beyond the "strategic" natural resources sector.  Participants will also discuss bilateral policy issues such as intellectual property rights, the still intact Jackson-Vanik amendment, and Russia's accession to WTO.