Sverdlovsk to focus on expanding international relations, strengthening ties
"We're currently trying to diversify our international ties," Sobolev said, according to RusBizNews. "Our emphasis will not only be on preserving our collaboration with our traditional partners--the countries of Europe and Southeast Asia--but also on building relationships with entirely new sales markets as well as those where we've lost some ground."
Sobolev also said his regional government is working to re-establish working partnerships with cultural and commercial institutions throughout Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Specifically, the Sverdlovsk region is looking to engage in collaborative agreements with the countries of Iran, Algeria and the Republic of Congo.
"This is the third time manufacturers have visited Tehran," Sobolev said regarding a May visit, RusBizNews reports. "This time the delegation was led by Alexander Petrov, the deputy prime minister of [Sverdlovsk]. They took part in the INOTEX 2014 International Innovation and Technology Exhibition. Manufacturers from the Sverdlovsk region managed to establish direct contacts with their Iranian counterparts. In particular, they discussed supplying equipment for the construction of railways and heavy engineering products. They also spoke about pursing joint projects in health care."
Moreover, the Sverdlosk region has already signed agreements with seven different regions in Ukraine, including Kiev, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Vinnytsia, Kherson and the Cherkasy regions.
"Unfortunately, our interaction is on hold because of the current situation, although some joint activities have been planned as far back as a year ago, Sobolev said, according to RusBizNews. "The frosty relationship between our countries has already affected the extend of our trade with Ukraine. Between January and March 2013, $114 million worth of goods were sold, but in the first quarter of this year that figure shrank to $95 million. We hope that once this crisis has been resolved at the government level, our joint work will resume, because there's still interest within the business community."
Sobolev also spoke about ongoing projects with other regions of the European Union which have been negatively impacted by political tensions over the Russian annexation of Ukraine.
"Any dispute will eventually end," Sobolev said, RusBizNews reports. "Neither we, nor our European or North American counterparts are interested in isolation. What we're interested in are the advantages and benefits that can be achieved together. I'm sure it will be possible to find a common language."
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