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Past Issue
February 2007

The USRCCNE Monthly Newsletter
For those with interests bridging the US and Russia...

Daniel Satinsky, USRCCNE PresidentWelcome!
From Daniel Satinsky, USRCCNE President

The year 2007 marks the 200th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Russia. This anniversary has a special significance for Massachusetts in that the first Ambassador was a native son, John Quincy Adams, who arrived in Russia in 1809. We hope that the observance of this anniversary over the year to come will provide opportunities to strengthen the fundamental human, cultural, and business relations between Russians and Americans.

Along those lines, the Chamber has recently become a member of the Coalition for U.S. - Russia Trade, a coalition to ensure that U.S. business reaps the benefit of Russia's WTO ascension by securing passage of U.S. legislation to grant Russia Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status. If Congress is to act favorably on this issue, it is critical for our legislators to hear positive stories about U.S. business activity in Russia and the benefits that granting PNTR status will bring. We urge all companies interested in sharing in the benefits of Russia's WTO ascension to join in this coalition. Granting Russia PNTR status will be a tremendous symbolic and practical boost for relations between our countries and is an appropriate goal for this bicentennial anniversary year.

News Briefs

Old New Year - Chamber members and friends had a great time celebrating the Old Russian New Year at the Stoli Restaurant in Brookline on January 11. It was an opportunity to catch up with colleagues and friends and to make new friends, while sharing good food and refreshments in a purely social environment. Our sincere thanks to Chamber Board Member, Leo Galperin, for making this happen.

Russian Economic Summary for 2006 - Lots of statistics and analysis for the past year.

Russian Year in Review - The New Year is often a time for people - and countries - to look back at what the past year meant. As can be expected, many news articles have reported on major issues that "the Russian bear" is now struggling with. The School of Russian and Asian studies has compiled a sampling of these articles on issues from politics to culture.

List of Russian Public Holidays for 2007 - an up-to-date list to help you plan your upcoming year!

HP to Open St. Pete Lab - HP Labs Russia, which will be located in St. Petersburg, will focus on information management, a branch of technology concerned with extracting, managing and archiving huge amounts of information. The company said HP scientists and researchers will also work with local universities and research institutions.

USRCCNE's Website is "Really Useful" - The Federation of International Trade Association's newsletter listed our website as a "really useful site." The newsletter this month focused on Russia and emerging market debt recovery.

Upcoming Events

Boston, February 7 - An International Business Forum and Networking Evening is set to feature several seminars  focused on the challenges and opportunities in the global economy and a key note address given by the founder of Oxford Analytica. A networking reception will follow.  

Palo Alto, CA. March 7-9 - Founded in 2004 to cultivate a transatlantic network of businesspeople and policymakers interested in Russian technology, the U.S.-Russia Technology Symposium at Stanford has established itself as the West Coast’s premier investor conference on emerging technologies.

New York City, April 18-19 - The Financial Services Volunteer Corps, the Association of Russia's Regional Banks and the bank rating agency RusRating are delighted to invite you to the fourth annual Conference on Banking and Investment Opportunities in Russia and the CIS. The conference will include an expansive overview of new opportunities available, and which are now a hotbed for investors with an interest in diversifying holdings.

Russia, April 27 - May 6 - The American-Russian Forestry Association (ARFA), a program of New Horizons Project and the New England Governors’ Conference invites you to spend ten days touring Russia's forestry and cultural centers!

Boston, May 3 - The Fifth Annual Financial Markets Conference in the works! Save the date and keep reading this newsletter for more information!

Featured Market: Energy

Resource Extraction and Export
The following Internet resource is designed to quickly introduce you to resource extraction and export in Russia. This market contributes not only the majority of Russia's GDP, but also greatly to Russia's political power. We've structured it to give a wide view of the Russian markets, Russia's position in those markets and the political implications of both.

Bruins vs. Gazpromexport, Boston, MAGazprom and the Boston Area Form a Solid Relationship
Boston played host to a series of events (including a hockey match, pictured right)designed to shape U.S.-Russia political and economic policy and continue building Gazprom's brand in the North American energy and financial markets.

Legislation Will Block Major Private Pipelines in Russia
The problem from the government’s standpoint is the intention not to fund pipeline development from the central budget. While denying private ownership of major pipelines within the country, the Kremlin still needs to expand gas and oil export volumes. And that will cost money.  

Russian Ministerial Infighting Signals Increasing Pressures on the Oil Sector
"If the Kremlin is choreographing this attack on current overproduction as a way of obliging companies to expedite eastern Siberian development, there will have to be a bigger carrot to accompany the stick," one knowledgeable London observer suggests. Alternatively, Putin may once again be resorting to one of his favorite devices – allow his officials to battle it out publicly until the differing positions emerge and then make a decision from above the fray.

Turkmenistan’s Oil and Gas Sector: Overview of the Legal Regime for Foreign Investment
While Turkmenistan is characterized by extraordinarily strong centralized presidential rule, the relevant legislative regime is more formalized and developed to date in Turkmenistan than, for example, in Azerbaijan, which has similar governmental characteristics.

Belarus Energy Deal and Its Repercussions for Russia
As a service to our readers, we have collected the following sampling of news articles to provide a brief overview of the the recent raise in gas prices for Belarus and the temporary shut down of the Druzhba pipeline.

More Articles of Interest

Stefen de Mare, MoldovaMoldovan and C.A. Business: B. M. Gurfein, CEO of New Tech
Baruch M. Gurfein is a former AOL business development executive (ICQ) who is now Founding Partner & CEO at New Tech, which reaches from Moldova to Kyrgyzstan. Many of projects have centered on developing public utilities and infrastructure in these smaller FSU countries - and making a profit at it.

StarSoft at Global Services 2007 Conference 
As a major conference sponsor and exhibitor, StarSoft is one of the offshore service providers that will have representatives available to meet with company executives. StarSoft's Senior Vice President Alex Adamopoulos is also one of three panelists scheduled to speak during the "Global Supply Destination Showcase" section of the program.

Russian Corner: Changing Directors in Russia
From time to time and for various reasons there is a need to change the Head or Director of a company branch office in Russia. Doing so is simple; it is not a painful process and does not require preparation of complex documents.

Just for Fun: A Trek Through Eastern Europe
Being a "stranger in a strange land" needn't be considered such a strange or dangerous thing to do and, in fact, I hope to encourage its practice as its educational value can be phenomenal. However, there are several things one should know before embarking.

How Are We Doing?

The USSRCNE Newsletter is produced for you. What would you like to see it offer? Send your suggestions, comments, or complaints to Josh Wilson, General Editor at jwilson@usrccne.org. We would love to hear from you!  

About this Newsletter:

Deadlines for submissions to next month's newsletter will be February 14th. All readers with information about Russian-American business ties are invited to contribute.

To subscribe to this newsletter, send an email with "Subscribe USRCCNE" to the editor at jwilson@usrccne.org or subscribe directly on the USRCCNE home page.

The USRCCNE newsletter is produced once a month. We hope that you find it a useful source of information, as well as (for our members) a place to boast of successes and new products and share industry knowledge. In this way, we hope it will also become a networking tool and online marketing resource for our members and other subscribers - a potential way to reach new clients and partners for you and new members for USRCCNE. This means we need your help in sustaining it.  Even if you are not a USRCCNE member, your comments and suggestions are still sought. If you are already a member, your company news and articles you or your employees have published are also sought. If it is not possible to reproduce the article on the USRCCNE website, let us know where the article is published so that we can provide you with synopsis and a link.

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