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16th Annual Meeting: "US and Russia in Transition: Capturing Momentum for Mutual Growth"
October 6-7, 2008


Four Seasons Hotel, Washington DC

www: www.usrbc.org

Plenary Sessions

U.S.-Russia Relations under Obama or McCain
How will U.S. policy toward Russia differ in a McCain or Obama Administration? What would be the policy priorities vis-a-vis Russia? How will the newly- created Economic Dialogue evolve? Senior advisors to the U.S. presidential candidates answer these and other questions in a preview of U.S.-Russia relations in the next Administration.

Assessing Medvedev’s Presidency at Six Months
Where is President Medvedev in realizing the ambitious plans laid out after his election, such as battling corruption and developing small- and medium-sized enterprises? What are the implications for economic policy of power-sharing in the new Russian government structure? What are the implications from a company government relations perspective? A panel of experts evaluate the first six months of Medvedev’s Kremlin and Putin’s White House.

CFIUS and the Strategic Sectors Law: Roadblocks or Welcome Signs?
Does Russia’s Strategic Sectors law create clear rules of the game for investors, or is there still room for arbitrary application? Has U.S. policy on foreign investment changed with the new CFIUS review process created by Congress? Government and industry insiders provide candid assessments of the new laws, their respective implementation, and the likely impact on foreign investment.

Energy’s Role in Russia’s Future
What does Russia’s economic diversification mean for the energy sector? With production leveling off, can oil and gas continue to drive economic growth? Will new limits on foreign participation in the sector impact its development? Will tax relief spur new investment? What opportunities exist for Russian companies in the U.S. energy market? A distinguished panel of industry leaders evaluates the current energy environment in Russia and the potential for greater bilateral cooperation.

Developing an Innovation Economy
What steps has Russia taken to date to encourage greater innovation in its economy and what structural and administrative incentives are still necessary for the development of knowledge-based industries in IT, aerospace, biotech, and even oil and gas? How does Russia’s interest in national champions intersect with its innovation economy objectives? Public and private sector representatives explore the commercial and policy environment for moving the Russian economy beyond its current resource-based focus.

Financial Services as an Economic Driver
Has the global financial crisis impacted Russia’s markets? What steps must Russia take to realize President Medvedev’s goal of becoming a world financial center? Is such a scenario realistic? Financial experts assess the competitiveness of Russia’s financial services industry, the areas of greatest growth potential, and trends on the horizon.

Breakout Sessions

Russia’s WTO Accession and the Outlook for PNTR
As Russia moves to closure on its WTO accession, the focus shifts to Capitol Hill to ensure that U.S. interests can take full advantage of Russia’s commitments. Get the latest readout from negotiators and Capitol Hill on the accession and on the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade’s effort to secure PNTR for Russia to keep U.S. firms and farmers competitive in the Russian market.

Creating Growth-Sustaining Infrastructure in Russia
How will the Russian Government utilize funds earmarked for infrastructure development? What role will public-private partnerships play? How applicable to Russia are other international models for attracting and sustaining foreign direct investment and spurring export growth? Russian Government officials and industry representatives from agriculture, high-technology, services and manufacturing review an issue at the crux of Russia’s continued growth.

Is Russia’s Economy Overheating?
With wage growth outstripping productivity, rising inflation and increasing infrastructure constraints, what actions should the Russian Government consider to prevent the economy from overheating and to ensure continued growth? Is capacity straining production, or is this just a bump in the economy’s transition? Are more structural reforms needed to stave off any possible downturn? Respected analysts and keen Russia observers take up the “hot” issue of stability v. growth.

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