On November 10, Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA) hosted a virtual roundtable between Canadian business leaders and Alexey Gruzdev, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation. H.E. Alison LeClaire, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to the Russian Federation also joined the roundtable.
The goal of the Roundtable was to allow key Canadian players in the Russian market to establish a direct dialogue with the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade in furtherance of their trade/investment objectives. Canadian business was represented at the Roundtable by the leadership of prominent Canadian companies, including Kinross Gold, Bombardier, BRP, Buhler, Champion Petfoods, Geometrik Manufacturing Inc., Hatch, McCain Foods and Viking Air. They delivered their comments and recommendations on the further development of bilateral trade and industrial cooperation from the perspective of such industries as aircraft construction, railway engineering, motor vehicle manufacturing, mining, industrial engineering, food processing, and construction.
Alexey Gruzdev confirmed the willingness of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation to assist Russian and Canadian businesses in the implementation of bilateral projects and initiatives, and suggested the need to look at current cooperation "from a different angle" even in areas where the market has already been formed.
"We should all understand that after a crisis that brings obvious difficulties, there is always an economic recovery and new opportunities. Great prospects are opening up thanks to the ongoing global reformation of cooperative relationships and supply chains," said Alexey Gruzdev.
The Deputy Minister also noted that at the end of last year, the Russian-Canadian trade turnover showed a significant increase, increasing by more than 32% compared to 2018 – up to 1.7 billion US dollars. In the first half of this year, trade turnover decreased compared to the same period in 2019, but this represents a global trend caused mainly by the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Canadian participants provided a very positive feedback regarding the event, seeing it as a very important step toward establishing a productive working relationship with the Ministry and one that will help to further promote and defend Canadian business interests in the region.