ST. PETERSBURG(Sputnik) — SPIEF, held in Russia's second largest city of St. Petersburg between Thursday and Saturday, is a major global platform for communication between business representatives and discussion of crucial economic issues. The Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency is the official media partner of the forum.
"It's the first time representatives from the US Chamber of Commerce [Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce] come here to SPIEF in 4 years. This is some sign. It's hard to say that the relations have improved geopolitically, but on a business side, there is a saying in Russia, that a bad peace is better than a good war. We now have stability. The sanctions are still there, but they have been stable for almost two years, without any changes," Rodzianko said.
He pointed out that the new US administration put more weight and importance on developing business, including with Russia.
"We hope for the best. Yes, business is getting more prepared to work, I guess, more accustomed to the situation of the sanctions. The previous administration was more active in imposing its agenda. This administration is less interested in using businesses as a tool," Rodzianko noted.
He added that the Russian government had consistently sent positive signals to US business.
"For us, one of the main signals is a positive signal on the Russian side. The Russian government has been consistently constructive in its relationship with us, with the US Chamber of Commerce in Russia, and with our businesses. They never felt unwelcome, they have always felt welcome in Russia," Rodzianko said.
The US business hopes that the sanctions against Russia would be lifted but even under current circumstances the Russian market is regarded as attractive, Alexis Rodzianko also said.
"US business in the framework that it's allowed to do business will do business. It would be wonderful if the diplomats could agree and the sanctions could be gone, we certainly look forward to that day. But even in the current circumstances, with the growing economy, with an improving investment climate, with the prospect of a structural reform in Russia, business will do just fine and [it] considers Russia an attractive market," Rodzianko said.
He pointed out that the Russian economy started to grow, which is a very good and important signal.
"The faster Russia can grow, the more Russia can do to make its economy attractive, the better businesses will do here, the better they will feel," Rodzianko explained.
The official praised the Russian human capital resource and development of the IT sphere.
"Then, Russia's natural resources are enormous. Sometimes price goes up and sometimes down, but there is always a price, so there is always value. The energy sector has always been interesting for the United States, the US companies have good technology and a good record of cooperating with Russian large companies," Rodzianko noted.
Many US equipment manufacturers for mining, construction, agriculture and forestry had localized their production in Russia, Rodzianko stated, adding that the real US export to Russia exceeded the official figures as some US products come to Russia via third states such as China.