For Immediate Release: March 18, 2013
Contact: Tim Truman (202) 482-3809
United States and Russia Officials Agree on Work Plan to Increase Bilateral Trade
WASHINGTON - U.S. Commerce Department Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance Michael Camuñez and Russia’s Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexey Likhachev, co-coordinators for the Business Development and Economic Relations Working Group of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, today announced agreement on an Action Plan for 2013-2014. The plan will serve as a framework to guide and shape bilateral economic cooperation in the coming year and beyond.
“Russia’s accession to the WTO creates significant opportunities for stronger bilateral cooperation between our countries, as well as significant economic benefits for U.S. workers, exporters and investors who can gain from growing our trade and investment relationship,” Camuñez said. “As we work closely with Russia to implement its new obligations, we want to use this Working Group to promote active engagement, collaboration, and coordination between our respective governments, taking into account the needs, concerns and priorities of the private sector, to better facilitate two-way trade and investment in a way that benefits both sides.”
Russia continued to grow in importance as a market for American companies in 2012. U.S. exports to Russia grew by nearly 29 percent in 2012 compared with 2011, more than six times the overall growth rate for global U.S. exports, to reach their highest level ever of $10.7 billion. Meanwhile, U.S. foreign direct investment in Russia rose 17 percent in 2011, the latest year for which official data is available.
Russia’s August 2012 entry into the World Trade Organization and the establishment of permanent normal trade relations between the two countries in December have provided a more level playing field for U.S. companies, which is widely expected to contribute to future market growth and increased bilateral trade.
The Working Group, which is chaired by the Commerce Secretary and the Russian Minister of Economic Development, will focus its Action Plan on diversifying two-way trade, increasing economic growth in key industrial sectors and reducing market-entry hurdles affecting small and medium enterprises.
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