The Cooperation Agreement between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and the General Union of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries as a starting point for creation of the independent noncommercial organization "Russian Arab Business Council"
This agreement was signed on the 17-th of July 2002 in Moscow between the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the General Union of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab countries. The agreement envisaged creation of the Russian Arab Business Council (further on referred to as "Business Council"). During a series of meetings with the Arab Party it was agreed that the Council would consist of two Parts (Sections) - Russian and Arab, each of which being set up by the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Moscow and the General Union of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries in Beirut, respectively. The Russian Section comprises representatives from the business elite and circles of the Russian Federation; the Arab Section in its turn embraces representatives of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry as well as business circles of Arab countries. Each Section has its own Administration headed by the Chairman. Regular joint meetings of the Russian and Arab Sections are envisaged twice a year alternatively in Russia and in Arab countries to handle actual issues pertaining to Russian-Arab trade and economical relations.
History of Creation of Joint Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Business Councils in Arab Countries and the Russian Federation
The General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries basically has pursued in its previous practices with other countries the policy of creating joint chambers of commerce and industry. For the time being established were American-Arab, Arab-Brazilian, Argentine-Arab, Arab-Belgium-Luxembourg, Arab-British, French-Arab, Arab-German, Italian-Arab, Austrian-Arab, Arab- Helvetian, Arab-Hellenic, Arab-Portuguese, Arab-Irish, Maltese-Arab, Kenyan-Arab, Australian-Arab, Chinese-Arab and Czech-Arab joint chambers of commerce and industry have been set up. Islamic and International chambers have also been created. The very legal form of the "Business Council" is well known in Arab countries. Lately this particular form of interaction seems to be becoming a growing tendency in Russian Arab business relations.
As for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, the latter organizes its relations of partnership using both judicial forms of joint legal entities. Operating nowadays are the Bulgarian-Russian, Slovak-Russian, Uruguayan-Russian, Chilean-Russian chambers of commerce and industry. And parallel to them functions the Canadian-Russian business council, Russian-Macedonian business council, New Zealand-Russian business council, the formation of the Russian-Saudi business council has recently been completed under the aegis of the Russian-Arab Business Council, setting up of Russian-Chinese and Russian-Thai business councils is underway. Since 1994 Russian - Helvetian business club operates in full gear. The Soviet- Turkish business council started its activities in 1988 to be later transformed into Business Council of Turkey and the Commonwealth of Independent States, which consists of twelve separate business councils sharing a common budget. The Russian-Turkish business council, which comprises 265 companies, was created on the 11-th of December 1991. During Mr Putin's official visit to Malaysia the Russian-Malaysian business council started to function. The work of the Russian-Indian business council seems to have been given a strong impetus. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russian Federation takes an active part in the activities of all the councils in one way or another.
A real impetus was given to the creation of Russian-Arab Business Council by the visit of Chairman of Board of Directors of the JSFC "Sistema" Mr. V. Yevtushenkov with the delegation of Russian businessmen, headed by the President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mr. E. Primakov to Jeddah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). The delegation took part in the activities of the International Economic Forum "Jeddah- 2003" on the 18-20 of January and in the Business Forum "Russia - Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)" on the 21-st of January. The theme for the 2003 forum was "Global Competitiveness: Thinking globally, Acting locally".The official forum program envisaged participation of the Saudi government authorities and representatives from the Gulf business circles, as well as representatives of the Harvard Business School. Russia was represented by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, several companies of the fuel and energy complex and banks. At the Business Forum "Russia - Gulf Cooperation Council" keynotes speeches were made by GCC General Secretary Mr. A. Attyjah, President of CCI RF Mr. E. Primakov, General Secretary of the Union of GCC Chambers Mohammed Ali Ben Abdallah Al Mulla (Chairman of the Council of Qatar Chamber of Commerce).
On the 29-th of August 2003 The Russian Part of the Business Council was officially registered in Moscow as "Autonomous noncommercial organization "Russian Arabic Business Council" (ANO "RABC"). The founder of the ANO "RABC" is the CCI RF.
On the 21st of October 2003 the establishment of Arabic Part of ARBC was confirmed and approved in the session of the General Union Council in Kuwait.
On the 1-st of December 2003 a press conference devoted to RABC presentation was held in the Conference Hall of Chamber of Commerce of Russian Federation. In this gathering numerous questions asked by journalists were answered by President of the CCI RF Mr. E. Primakov, Chairman of RABC Mr. V. Yevtushenkov and the Ambassador of the League of Arab States Mr. Said Al-Barami. The same evening a party was thrown in the Reception House of the JSFC "Sistema" which had as its honorary guests the ambassador of the mission of the League of Arab States, ambassadors of Algeria, Bahrein, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, Saudi Arabia as well as businessmen representing countries of Middle and Near East and Northern Africa. In addition to the Authority of JSFC "Sistema" the Russian Part was represented by the participants in the Coordination Council of RABC, high-ranked officials and functionaries from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and prominent directors and heads of numerous Russian companies.
As for the Charter "ANO RABC", the purpose of its activity is to promote the development of cooperation between Russian and Arab enterprises, entities and entrepreneurs. These activities are aimed at strengthening historical ties and accelerating the realization of the ample opportunities for development of trade and economic relations between the Russian Federation and Arab countries based on the presumption that trade and economic relations must be in accord with the legislation, normative acts and regulations active in the countries of the parties concerned, thus relying on Chapter 7 of the Cooperation Agreement, which was signed in Moscow on the 17-th of July 2002 between the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries and the Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation.
To reach these goals the "ANO RABC" is currently carrying out the following activities:
- Rendering practical assistance in promoting trade and economic relations between business structures of Russia and Arab countries.
- Stimulating innovative activities.
- Setting up bilateral committees with each of Arab countries and realizing the concrete projects of mutual cooperation.
The "ANO "RABС" can carry out the foreign economic and business activities corresponding to the aims it was created for, providing for the idea that these activities are not essentially aimed at deriving the financial profit and distribution of the gained revenues between its participants.
The supreme body of this organization is the General Assembly of its participants. Considering the fact that it was created by the sole Founder, all the decisions concluding the congressional power of the General Assembly are made by Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation, on behalf of which President of Chamber of Commerce of RF or its representatives may act and proceed as properly authorized via an appropriate power (s) of attorney duly issued.
The General Assembly elects permanently operating control administrative collegial body Coordinating Council of the ANO "RABС", which consists of 22 participants proposed by the Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation. Currently the Chairman of the Council is Mr. Yevtushenkov Vladimir Petrovich, who is also the Chairman of Board of Directors of JSFC "Sistema".
The only executive body of the ANO "RABС" is Director, who supervises all the day-to-day activities of the organization. This post is currently occupied by Gvilava Tatiana Aleksandrovna, who is President of Interregional Association "Women and business".
Between 15-th to 18-th December of 2003 the Russian delegation comprising President of Chamber of Commerce of RF Mr. Primakov E.M., Chairman of Russian-Arab Business Council Mr. Yevtushenkov V.P. as well as heads and representatives of major Russian companies participating in the RABC Coordination Council, visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the course of the visit numerous meetings with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah, Cabinet members of Saudi Government, state ministers, presidents of chambers of commerce and industry of Riyadh and Jeddah, representatives of business and entrepreneurial circles of the Kingdom were held. Many other gatherings occurred with elite business executives of Saudi Arabia to discuss the possible lines of cooperation in various industries: electronics, transportation, finances, metallurgy industry, oil & gas sector. The Russian delegation paid a visit to the well known and reputed companies such as: SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries) and "Ma'aden" ( not to be confused with Lebanese "Ma'adin") meaning "Metals", Saudi Oger. Saudi companies expressed their keen interest in the cooperation and mutual investments in the fields of desalination and water purification, tourism, construction, real estate, mutual investments and inter-banking links. In the meeting with Vice-President of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Jeddah the agreement was achieved about the return visit of delegation of Saudi businessmen to Russia in May 2004.
The first joint meeting of the Russian and Arab Parts of Russian-Arab Business Council initiated by a personal invitation of President of General Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce Mr. Khaled Abou Ismail was held in Cairo on 24-25 of January 2004 under the kind auspices and supervision of Prime Minister of Arab Republic of Egypt Mr. Atef Obeid. The Russian delegation was headed by Chairman of Russian Arab Business Council Mr. Yevtushenkov V.P. Chairman of Board of Directors of JSFC "Sistema". The constructive negotiations and disputes resulted in signing of two official documents : Protocol between Chambers of Commerce of Russian Federation and General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab countries and Final Communique. The Protocol was signed by President of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of RF Mr. Primakov E.M. from the Russian Party, and by President of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries Mr. Abdelhakim Kemmou, President of Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Services of Morocco from the Arab Party. The Final Communique was signed by Co-Chairmen of Russian-Arab Business Council Mrs. Yevtushenkov V.P. and Khaled Abou Ismail. At the first meeting the two RABC co-chairmen reached an agreement in principle that all the bilateral Russian-Arab regional councils (clubs) would be established , and the once already established would be operating in the framework and under supervision of Russian Arab Business Council. " During the 1-st Joint meeting of the RABC in Cairo in the presence of chairmen and representatives of chambers of commerce and industry of 16 Arab countries Mr. Elias Ghantous acting as the General Secretary of GUCCIAAC delivered a speech on "Russian-Arab trade and economic relations: ways and means of development" in which he analyzed the progress of these relations in several last years. The Russian-Arab Business Council decided to conduct the second joint meeting in Russian Federation in the last decade of June 2004, and the third meeting - in Lebanon, Beirut in January 2005.
During this visit Chairman of Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation Mr. Primakov E.M. was received by President of Arab Republic of Egypt HHE Hosni Mubarak.
The RABC may include as participants in its activities legal entities and individuals. Organizations - permanent participants in the RABC and entering the Coordination Council headed by Chairman of Board of Directors of JSFC "Sistema" Mr. Yevtushenkov V.P. and whose membership was approved by the Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation pay a yearly donations or aiming money remittances totalling $25,000 US dollars. Organizations and individuals - associated participants in the Council employ the services of the Russian-Arab Business Council and are through its offices on equal terms and ground and in full measure like the participants of the Coordination Council except for participation in decision-making process. Yearly donation of an associated participant of the Council is $10,000 US dollars.
Participation in RABC activity is to enable all organizations, companies or businessmen, who intend to join this new structure, which however has already earned a good reputation and has proven its practical effectiveness not only in achieving their professional economic objectives and goals, but has also managed to organically integrate into the processes in the sphere of international, political, trade and economic relations with the Middle East and Northern Africa countries.
Taking part in RABC activities helps to operate more actively and efficiently and to boost sales promotion and marketing of Russian goods and services in the Arab market. Participation of each enterprise and organization in the Council activities enables them to improve their image and gain reputation in the Arab East as well as to raise the current ratings through the work and operation with banks and clients in Islamic countries.
The Russian-Arab Business Council would like to invite all organizations, which are interested in work with Middle and Near East countries and Northern Africa countries to cooperate on a mutually beneficial basis.