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» » Franco-Russian Business Forum "Russia and France: on the way to a new partnership"

Franco-Russian Business Forum "Russia and France: on the way to a new partnership"

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On October 12, 2021, the first French-Russian business forum "Choiseul Russia" took place: "Russia and France: on the way to a new partnership". The event was held with the support of the RSPP, the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry "CCI France Russie", the analytical center "Observo" and MGIMO.
Pascal Lorot, President of the Choiseul Institute, delivered the welcoming speech. He outlined the topics of the round tables devoted to priority areas of development of the entire world economy: "Digitalization and economic recovery", "Hydrogen is the energy of the future" and "Smart City - modern and digitalized eco-quarters", and also thanked the RSPP and its president for supporting the event. 
Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, noted in his speech that France has historically been a long-standing partner of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. He noted that even before the creation of the RSPP, a framework agreement was signed between the National Council of the French Patronage and the Scientific and Industrial Union of the USSR - the predecessor of the RSPP. "The business of Russia and France actively interacts, despite everything and no matter what," he said, "Thanks to the developed "political and business immunity," French companies not only do not leave the Russian market, but also increase their presence. I cannot but note that France is one of the five key European investors in the Russian economy, is the leader in terms of real investments and the main foreign employer among the countries of the European Union. We see that the Russian market is promising and profitable for French companies." The President of the RSPP drew the attention of the participants to the fact that Russian-French cooperation has long ceased to be one-sided. As an example, he noted the successful business practices of Russian and French companies: the successful work of Renault, Auchan, Leroy Merlin in Russia, the opening of the Yandex delivery service in Paris, the signing of a memorandum with Metalloinvest on the organization of low-carbon hydrogen production. "The RSPP is ready to take an active part in the development and implementation of specific proposals and initiatives following the results of the forum at its sites and partner sites," he summed up.
Christian Estrosi, president of the metropolis of Nice Cote d'Azur and mayor of Nice, also spoke about the need to strengthen Franco-Russian relations. He spoke about the serious energy crisis in France related to the sanctions imposed against Russia and the rejection of long-term contracts with Russian partners. In addition to the need for cooperation in the energy sector, he also stressed the importance of partnership in space exploration, support for multinational corporations, and the development of relations in terms of mutual exchange of human resources.
"The future Europe cannot be built without a powerful Russia, and vice versa," said Christian Estrosi. He also noted that the French presidency of the EU will begin next year, and expressed hope for the development of decentralization in the economic sector.
Agnes Pannier-Runacher, Minister of Industry of the French Republic, also addressed the participants of the forum with a welcoming speech.
As part of the round table "Digitalization and Economic Recovery", the participants discussed the accumulated experience and competitive advantages in the field of digitalization of the economy and the development of artificial intelligence, their role in the post-cloud world and existing opportunities for partnership between Russia and France.
Boris Sharov, CEO of Doctor Web, made a report on the challenges in the field of information protection of user data, spoke about the development of analytical programs using artificial intelligence that would be superior to antivirus programs. He stressed the active cooperation between Russia and France in the field of cybersecurity.
In turn, Alexander Zapolsky, founder and president of Linagora, drew the attention of the participants that, despite the presence of competitive advantages in the field of cybernetics in European countries, the lack of cooperation with strong countries will not provide the necessary level of information protection. He also invited cooperation through the Franco-Russian alliance "Industry of the Future", noting that this initiative is supported by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Igor Bogachev, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for International Cooperation of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Digital Economy and Innovation, CEO of "Digit", spoke at the round table. He spoke about the tremendous importance of the exchange of experience between the countries, offering the RSPP platform for the development of new initiatives.
Then Andrey Lotsmanov, Deputy Co-Chairman of the RSPP Committee on Industrial Policy and Technical Regulation, made a report. He focused the attention of the participants on how important standards are due to the definition of requirements for the safe and efficient use of products.
The next round table "Hydrogen - the energy of the future" was devoted to alternative energy sources that open up new prospects, especially in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Representatives of the two countries outlined their positions on this issue and discussed opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and France. Pavel Sorokin, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, spoke at the session.
As part of the discussion "Smart City - modern and digitalized eco-quarters", representatives of the Russian and French sides discussed modern, digital and environmental standards that modern cities and settlements should meet. The forum participants exchanged their accumulated experience and outlined ways for further cooperation between the countries.

Jerome Clausen, the Head of the Representative Office in the French Republic, represented FBA EAC at the event.