Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

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Twelve U.S. Companies Participate in the First-Ever Energy Themed Trade Mission to Russia

June 5, 2012

Francisco Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Russia’s impending accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has sparked a boom of foreign business interest in the Russian economy. Couple this with the Russian governments’ concentrated investments in energy technology and you have a situation ripe for trade deals between American and Russian companies. As such, I am leading a trade delegation of American energy companies to Moscow, the first such energy-themed mission in the history of U.S.-Russian relations.

Under Secretary Sánchez welcomes members of a 12-company U.S. trade delegation to Moscow for the first stop on an energy efficiency trade mission to Russia. The delegation will meet with public and private sector officials in Moscow and St. Petersburg to discuss export opportunities in a growing sector

Under Secretary Sánchez welcomes members of a 12-company U.S. trade delegation to Moscow for the first stop on an energy efficiency trade mission to Russia. The delegation will meet with public and private sector officials in Moscow and St. Petersburg to discuss export opportunities in a growing sector

Representatives from 12 American energy firms are accompanying me on a business tour of Moscow in search of export opportunities for American energy firms. The Russian market represents incredible potential and invaluable relationships – opportunities that America cannot afford to neglect. Successful investments in the Russian energy market could spur a windfall of job creation and economic growth at home while American companies rake in profits from these beneficial partnerships.

We’ve watched U.S. merchandise exports to Russia double from 2005 to 2010, and then grow nearly another 40 percent in 2011 alone. American business exports to Russia now top $8 billion dollars a year. This is a market we must capitalize on. Recognizing this growth and potential, the Department of Commerce led an automotive technologies mission to Russia in April and was eager to do so again.

The Russian government is implementing an Energy Strategy that calls for energy efficiency, sustainable development, energy development and technological development, as well as improved effectiveness and competitiveness. The demand for affordable and efficient energy will only grow as the global economy evolves, a phenomenon that will continuously stimulate demand for high-quality, energy-efficient products and services. Appropriately, the companies on this trade mission can supply exactly that. As I highlighted in an opinion piece in The Moscow Times, many U.S. businesses on the mission have a particular interest in Russia’s focus on smart grids, green-building and road infrastructure.

This mission is a historic event for both the American and Russian energy industries. U.S. companies, manufacturers, and workers already are global leaders in clean technology production and services. And that is why I am privileged to lead this mission to expand exports to the region, exports that will create jobs at home. As a nation, we should be proud of the expertise our companies offer, as well as the innovation and advancement we are known for. These investments today will pay dividends to our citizens tomorrow.

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Auto Companies in Russia: Always Two Sides to a Story

May 1, 2012

Eduard Roytberg is a Senior International Trade Specialist and the Global Automotive Team Leader within the Commercial Service division of the International Trade Administration.

This past week 12 U.S. auto parts and service providers traveled through Russia with ITA’s Deputy Secretary Michelle O’Neill finding partners and business opportunities along the way. It will come as no surprise that three of the 12 are based in Michigan.

CAMACO, LLC is a Novi, Michigan based independent supplier of engineered seat frames to the automotive market with locations in North America, South America, Europe and India. Camaco supports 1,200 employees worldwide and their diverse product scope includes stamped metal and wire-frame seat assemblies, headrest and armrest structures.

Participants in the Russia Automotive Trade Mission and Deputy Under Secretary O'Neill at Johnson Controls in St. Petersburg.

Participants in the Russia Automotive Trade Mission and Deputy Under Secretary O’Neill at Johnson Controls in St. Petersburg. (Photo U.S. Department of Commerce)

Camaco has only just begun working with the U.S. Commercial Service and is looking to expand operations into Russia. They have existing operations in India and Brazil.

Another Michigan company on the mission Fluxtrol, Inc., is based in Auburn Hills. Fluxtrol was established in 1981 and manufactures soft magnetic materials for magnetic flux control in induction heating systems and provides advanced engineering services including computer simulation, induction coil design and process optimization.

Fluxtrol, a client of the U.S. Commercial Service for the past  7 years, embarked on this mission to expand their presence in the Russian market and are looking to broaden and deepen their auto industry contacts. They are already planning follow-up trip. Robert Ruffini, President of Fluxtrol is also a member of the Michigan District Export Council.

Inductoheat, Inc., established in 1962 and based in Madison Heights, is a small yet leading manufacturer of induction heating equipment with more than 50 years of experience. Inductoheat operates 40 facilities worldwide providing products to many of the world’s largest automotive companies.

Indoctoheat has been working with the U.S. Commercial Service for the past two decades and hoped to gain exposure to and understanding of the Russian market, make significant connections with leaders, partners and potential customers in Russia, and explore opportunities for business expansion in Russia.

“As a result of participating in the trade mission, I will be coming back within the next three weeks to visit two new prospective clients and further develop our level of support for the Russian automotive market,” said Inductoheat, Inc., Vice President of Heat Treating Rob Madeira.

Related: U.S. Auto Parts Firms Find Partners in Russia

These and the rest of the mission participants are either already doing business in Russia and looking to expand or are here with the hope of expanding into the Russian market.

To facilitate good business relationships for U.S. companies, the Commercial Service in Russia and globally frequently work with foreign buyers to ensure that U.S. firms find positive and long-lasting relationships in an overseas market.

Some of those buyers were recognized by Ms. O’Neill during the mission’s visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Specifically, Triton-Import of Moscow was recognized for its achievement in opening the Russian automotive spare parts market to American small and medium-sized enterprises. For the past 19 years, Triton-Import has been an important Commercial Service partner. This partnership has resulted in more than $50 million in sales for U.S. exporters of automotive spare parts.

The two companies honored last week in St. Petersburg include Solex and Auto Sport Tuning. Solex was recognized for their achievement as a leading importer of American-made trucks and spare parts into Russia. The Commercial service has helped Solex find U.S. partners to actively market U.S. brands that has resulted in more than $300 million in sales for American truck manufacturers and spare parts for American trucks.

Auto Sport Tuning (AST), a relatively young partner of the Commercial Service, was recognized for its leading role as an importer of U.S. specialty automotive equipment in the Russian market. AST has participated in the International Buyer Program, or IBP, since 2007, attending the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a result of this collaboration and partnership with the Commercial Service, AST has established business partnerships with several American automotive performance suppliers.

The U.S. and Russian companies show the partnership it takes to facilitate global trade. Great partners home and abroad can be facilitated with the help of the Commercial Service domestically and overseas.

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U.S. Auto Parts Firms Find Partners in Russia

April 25, 2012

Elena Mikalis is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Transportation and Machinery within the Manufacturing and Services division of the International Trade Administration

This week Deputy Under Secretary Michelle O’Neill is leading a delegation of 12 auto parts and services companies to explore opportunities for sales to the burgeoning Russian auto industry. I am fortunate to be accompanying her and the 12 U.S. companies who are on the mission. We have completed two of our three stops in the mission, having left Samara today.

In 2011, vehicles sales in Russia grew 39 percent to 2.6 million units. U.S. auto components and parts manufacturers are well-positioned to help supply the growing Russian auto industry, which grew 98 percent from 2010 to 2011, reaching $125 million. In 2011, Russia imported almost $1.5 billion in U.S.-made components, parts, and finished motor vehicles, an increase of 75 percent from 2010.

Deputy Under Secretary Michelle O'Neill presents a certificate of recognition to Konstantin Avdeev, President and CEO of Triton-Import for their support of U.S. exporters of automotive spare parts.

Deputy Under Secretary Michelle O’Neill presents a certificate of recognition to Konstantin Avdeev, President and CEO of Triton-Import for their support of U.S. exporters of automotive spare parts.

The trade mission delegation participated in one-on-one meetings with potential business partners in Samara, have met with key Russian Government officials, and visited automotive assembly plants and component manufacturers in Russia’s automotive industry centers.

Deputy Under Secretary O’Neill launched the mission in Moscow by presenting Triton-Import, a Moscow-based automotive parts distributor, with the Commerce Department’s Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade. Triton-Import has helped U.S. companies export more than $50 million in automotive spare parts to the Russian market. “Triton-Import has been an important partner and friend to many U.S. small and medium-sized firms,” O’Neill said.

The trade mission advances President Obama’s National Export Initiative which aims to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014, supporting economic and job growth.

With more than 140 million consumers and a growing middle class, Russia remains one of the most promising markets for U.S. exporters. Sales of cars and trucks in Russia are currently growing at an annual rate of 30 percent. In 2010, Russian customers purchased 1.9 million cars. This figure includes 646,000 new Russian cars and 1.25 million foreign cars, both imported and produced in Russia. Importers forecast continued rapid growth of approximately 20 percent in 2011. If these trends continue, most experts project Russia will be the largest automotive market in Europe within the next few years.

Related: Auto Companies in Russia: Always Two Sides to a Story

Foreign automakers have taken notice of the Russian automotive market’s potential for growth and are building assembly plants to meet the increasing demand for high-quality automobiles. General Motors, for example, has a $335 million plant in Togliatti, a joint venture with Russian auto giant AvtoVaz. The mission participants will be touring this facility at the end of the week to round out their trip. Other major international producers, including Nissan, Toyota and Hyundai, have made significant investments in St. Petersburg and the surrounding Leningrad oblast, turning it into a new automotive assembly cluster.

U.S. mission participants are further encouraged by Russia’s recent invitation to join the World Trade Organization. Russia is expected to accept this invitation and formally join the WTO this summer. As a result, Russia has committed to reducing many of its tariffs on motor vehicles and parts — some of which run as high as 35 percent.

It’s an exciting time in the auto industry and Russia is a great market for U.S. auto parts and suppliers to find sales and partners.

Samara, the Detroit of Russia

Samara, formerly known as Kuybyshev, is one of the largest and most prominent regions in Russia. It is also referred as Region 63 and is situated in the south-eastern region of European Russia. Samara region is the administrative hub of the Samara oblast and is one of the most stable leaders of the national economy. Similar to Detroit, Samara is situated close to reliable transportation, has well developed infrastructure for manufacturing and access to parts and supplies.

Samara region is renowned across the world for its planes, cars, bearings, aluminum and cables. It is also the hub of the Russian space industry. Satellite launchers, unique aircraft engines and manual space crafts are produced in this region.

The Samara region is a hub of innovation and industrial development. It provides the essential environment required for innovative development. This includes, a significant industrial and scientific potential, availability of well-trained personnel and a well-established infrastructure of innovative activities. The obvious advantages of Samara region are the favorable business climate and the multidisciplinary structure of the industrial system.

Development of Samara Region’s automobile cluster is a priority in the development of the regional economy. Share of automotive industry in the regional industrial output amounts to more than 35%, in machine building – over 70%. The automobile cluster includes a large number of firms producing cars and car components, as well as providing transport services.

Samara Region is one of Russia’s the most significant transport hubs.

The share of automobile transportation in the total volume of transported freight is 43%. The extensive network of public paved roads covers 12,700 km (7,891.4 miles). The Moscow – Chelyabinsk federal highway crosses the crosses the region, with links to Kazakhstan, Central Asia and northern parts of Russia. 55 transport companies serve the region′s passenger and freight transport by region and Russia.

Railway transportation accounts for 22.8% of freight traffic. Samara Kuibyshevskaya Railway has the total length of 1,389 km (863 miles).

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Energy Efficiency Trade Mission to Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia

February 29, 2012

June 4-7, 2012

The U.S. Commercial Service is organizing an Energy Efficiency Trade Mission to Russia to be led by a senior government official next June.  The trade mission is targeting a broad range of technologies including: electricity transmission infrastructure, smart grids, energy storage, road construction materials and green building, environmental goods and services, especially water treatment and water efficiency, which reduce the environmental impact of industrial processes and energy generation.

The trade mission fee, including lodging for one person per company is $2,650 for a small or medium-sized enterprise (fewer than 500 employees) or $3,200 for large firms.  The fee for each additional representative is $500.

New legislation and national goals addressing energy inefficiency and climate change, and the need to improve environmental services to the general public are generating a demand for energy efficient  products and services and environmental technologies in Russia. Russia presents lucrative opportunities for U.S. firms in these sectors.

The mission will include one-on-one business appointments with pre-screened potential buyers, agents, distributors and joint venture partners; meeting with national and regional government officials; and networking events in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Apply at: http://export.gov/trademissions/russiaenergy/.

For more information contact: Anne Novak at (202) 262-7764 or Anne.Novak@trade.gov.

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New Training Exchange Program with Russian Business Leaders Launched

December 20, 2011

Becky Long is an International Trade Specialist at Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) in the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance unit.

For more than 20 years the Special American Business Internship Training Program, or SABIT has been promoting economic development in the countries of the former Soviet Union and encouraging business ties between these countries and the United States. Today SABIT continues to put a strong emphasis on the development of Eurasian countries and is at the same time expanding its reach into other regions by hosting groups from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The SABIT office, under the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance unit, annually hosts 12 to 15 delegations of professionals from emerging market countries in industries such as airport development, cargo transportation and logistics, niche tourism, intellectual property rights, construction, and energy efficiency just to name a few.  These delegations come to the United States for three to four weeks to meet with their industry counterparts in the private sector, government, associations, academia, and other relevant organizations.  All of the meetings are arranged entirely by the SABIT staff based on their industry knowledge and the participants’ interests, resulting in programs that are tailor-made for each delegation.

SABIT’s professional development training programs directly support economic development by encouraging market-based reforms, while generating valuable export and investment opportunities for U.S. companies.  Since 1990, over 1,500 U.S. companies and organizations have hosted more than 5,000 international trainees through SABIT, resulting in more than $850 million in export revenues.

Michelle O'Neill (center) with the delegates from SABIT's PMT program on energy efficiency. (Photo credit ITA)

Michelle O’Neill (center) with the delegates from SABIT’s PMT program on energy efficiency. (Photo credit ITA)

This Fall, SABIT launched the new U.S.-Russia Presidential Management Training Exchange Program (PMT) by hosting two delegations Russian professionals in the information technology and energy efficiency sectors for three weeks.  PMT aims to provide unique professional development and business networking opportunities that help facilitate business relationships, economic development, and international trade.

PMT is being implemented under the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, which is dedicated to identifying areas of cooperation and pursuing joint projects that strengthen strategic stability, international security, economic well-being, and the development of ties between the Russian and American people.  The PMT exchange program was created as a result of an agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the United States in the Area of Training of Management Personnel which was signed by former Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina in November 2010.

In October 2011, PMT’s Russian energy efficiency group met with Michelle O’Neill, Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade and U.S. Coordinator for the Business Development & Economic Relations Working Group to celebrate the completion of the pilot phase.  During their three-week program in the United States, the 8 delegates participating in the energy efficiency group visited companies and organizations such as the Alliance to Save Energy, Greater Philadelphia Clean Cities and Philadelphia Electric Company, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Johnson Controls, Bentley Systems, U.S.-Russia Business Council, and the World Green Energy Symposium, where delegate Ivan Bragin spoke about the state of the green energy sector in Russia. The participants also had a chance to mingle with Michael Nutter, the Mayor of Philadelphia, at the symposium’s opening night reception, where the mayor highlighted Philadelphia’s green initiatives.

The 13 delegates who participated in the information technology group met with U.S. companies and organizations such as the Software & Information Industry Association, New Jersey Institute of Technology-Enterprise Development Center, the social gaming company CrowdStar, and the Northern Virginia Technology Council. Delegates also attended training seminars on innovation management and software project management.

For the second phase of PMT, SABIT plans to send the first group of American businesspeople to Yekaterinburg, Russia this spring.  Given the success of the pilot trainings, plans for future exchanges with Russia are under discussion.

U.S. companies interested in hosting SABIT’s international delegations may contact the SABIT office at 202-482-0073 or sabit@trade.gov.

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Russia’s WTO Accession: What it Means for the United States

December 16, 2011

Justin Hoffmann and Rebecca Gudicello are International Economists in the Office of Trade Policy Analysis.

Map of Russia in Blue

Image © Frank Ramspott/iStockphoto.com

During today’s session of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Eighth Ministerial Conference, trade Ministers approved the terms of Russia’s accession and formally invited Russia to join the WTO as its 155th Member. As the largest economy outside of the WTO, not only is today’s formal invitation the culmination of Russia’s 18-year effort to join the WTO, but it is also a meaningful occasion for us and our colleagues who have spent significant portions of our careers working to ensure that Russia’s WTO membership produces the maximum benefit for U.S. companies, farms, and workers.

We have all worked hard to ensure that Russia’s WTO membership will directly benefit U.S. economic interests by providing new market access opportunities for U.S.-produced goods and services. Additionally, integrating Russia into a rule-based trading system and providing the means to enforce those rules will further strengthen U.S. commercial interests in Russia.

To highlight the benefits of Russia’s WTO accession, ITA has produced a series of Sector Opportunity Reports outlining the tariff and non-tariff commitments Russia is undertaking in key U.S. export sectors. In addition, ITA’s State Opportunity Reports highlight the opportunities and benefits for Russia’s WTO accession for all 50 states, their companies, farms, workers, and ranchers.

Russia is a large and growing market that offers a huge potential for U.S. exporters, and until today, it was the largest economy outside of the WTO. In 2010, Russia imported $10.7 billion in goods from the United States making it Russia’s fourth largest source of imports. Companies from across all 50 states export a wide variety of goods and services to Russia.

Russia’s accession to the WTO provides new market access for U.S. exports of goods and services. Russia is making important tariff commitments in key U.S. export sectors, such as information and communications technologies, agricultural equipment, aerospace, and chemicals. In addition, Russia has undertaken market access and national treatment commitments in a wide array of commercially significant services sectors. U.S. service suppliers will benefit, in particular, from more open access in infrastructure services sectors such as telecommunications (including satellite services), computer and related services, express delivery, distribution, financial services, and audio-visual services.

By joining the WTO, Russia also has agreed to abide by WTO rules, including specific commitments on issues such as non-discrimination, standards, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and the protection of intellectual property rights. The United States will also have access to WTO mechanisms, including dispute resolution, to ensure Russia’s compliance with international trade rules and protect U.S. commercial interests.

For U.S. industry to realize the full benefits of Russia’s WTO accession, the Russian parliament must ratify its accession package enabling Russia to formally join the WTO (which is expected to occur during the first half of 2012) and the United States must establish Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia.

For additional information about Russia’s WTO Accession, please visit ITA’s Russia WTO Accession page and USTR’s website.

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Featured Trade Event: U.S. Automotive Parts and Components Trade Mission to Russia

November 1, 2011

April 22–28, 2012
U.S. Automotive Parts and Components Trade Mission to Russia
Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Samara, Russia

Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow. (© Jupiterimages/Getty)

Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow. (© Jupiterimages/Getty)

This mission is designed to provide an opportunity for a diverse cross-section of U.S. companies that sell automotive goods and services to explore Russia’s rapidly expanding car and truck assembly market. It will be led by Michelle O’Neill, deputy under secretary of commerce for international trade.

With more than140 million consumers and a growing middle class, Russia remains one of the most promising markets for U.S. exporters. Sales of cars and trucks in Russia are currently growing at an annual rate of 30 percent. In 2010, Russian customers purchased 1.9 million cars. This figure includes 646,000 new Russian cars and 1.25 million foreign cars, both imported and produced in Russia. Importers forecast continued rapid growth of approximately 20 percent in 2011. If these trends continue, most experts project Russia will be the largest automotive market in Europe within the next few years.

Foreign automakers have taken notice of the Russian automotive market’s potential for growth and are building assembly plants to meet the increasing demand for high-quality automobiles. General Motors, for example, has a $335 million plant in Togliatti, a joint venture with Russian auto giant AvtoVaz. Other major international producers, including Nissan, Toyota and Hyundai, have made significant investments in St. Petersburg and the surrounding Leningrad oblast, turning it into a new automotive assembly cluster.

Specific automotive sectors targeted for attention by this trade mission include components for vehicle manufacture, replacement parts, aftermarket products, repair equipment, testing equipment, and software and engineering services.

The mission will begin in Moscow and will include site visits and consultations in St. Petersburg and in two centers of the Russian auto industry, Samara and Togliatti. In addition to market briefings by industry experts, the mission program will include opportunities to meet key Russian government officials and decision-makers, one-on-one meetings with potential business partners, and site visits to automotive assembly plants and component manufacturers.

The cost to participate in the trade mission ranges from $4,952 to $5,701 per company for one representative, depending on firm size. There is a $1,220 fee for each additional company participant. The fee covers all in-country travel and one-on-one meetings, but mission participants will be responsible for travel to and from Russia, lodging, most meals, and incidentals. Applications must be received by January 6, 2012. For more information about the trade mission, visit its Web site or contact Eduard Roytberg of the USFCS, tel.: (909) 466-4138; e-mail: eduard.roytberg@trade.gov, or Kenneth C. Duckworth of the USFCS, tel.: +7 (812) 326-2560; e-mail: kenneth.duckworth@trade.gov.

A related webinar, “The Russian Automotive Sector—New Opportunities for U.S. Suppliers,” will be held November 17. For more information, go to http://export.gov/industry/auto/russia039444.asp.

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