Author: N. I. PETROV
THIS IS TAUGHT AT WEBINARS THAT ARE REGULARLY HELD UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Keywords: webinar, electronic seminar, Eastern countries, Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Do Russian entrepreneurs know that when negotiating with colleagues from Uzbekistan, it is customary to take only the place indicated by the owner, and the further it is from the entrance, the more honorable it is? Should you only shake hands in greeting, accept gifts, or take food with your right hand? The less tea you are served, the higher the favor of the hosts towards you (there is even a saying: "tea to the brim for an uninvited guest"), and the more often you ask for a drink, the more respect you show to the organizers of the feast?
Business etiquette in China is even more complicated. If you are given a business card, you should take it with both hands and look at it carefully for a long time as a sign of respect for the other person. But handshakes are not accepted, although in recent years the European greeting has taken root in the East. When making a submission, first of all, you need to name the company that you are acting for, and only then - your name. You should speak while sitting down, if the other participants in the meeting are also sitting down: reading the report while standing up, you emphasize your own superiority over the audience. It is strictly not recommended to present sharp objects, umbrellas, watches, or anything else edible as souvenirs; white color and red lettering are undesirable.
Participants of online seminars (webinars) held by the Committee of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation on Economic Integration of the SCO and CIS countries and the International Institute of Management for Business Associations (IMOP) have learned about all this over the past few months Russian Chamber OF Commerce AND Industry.
Webinar is a new word in the Russian modern vocabulary, as well as in the practice of business and business training. The main difference between webinars and regular seminars is that the number of participants can be measured not in tens and hundreds , but in many thousands, and by and large-it can be almost unlimited. Moreover, all of them will be not just listeners, but participants, since they have the right and real opportunity to ask questions, enter into discussions not only with speakers, but also among themselves.
In principle, the topics of the webinars that will be discussed were much broader than those announced. They discussed the economic situation of states, the specifics of reforming their economies, how they overcome the crisis, as well as contacts with Russian entrepreneurs. Issues of expanding these contacts and intensifying foreign economic cooperation were discussed.
DESPITE ALL BARRIERS
The collapse of the Soviet Union has created barriers between the states that once formed a mighty single country. And these barriers were unexpectedly very high. Thus, the exchange of advanced production experience and mutual information about scientific and technical achievements have practically stopped. Webinars have become a powerful and very effective attempt to overcome these barriers. In a matter of hours, their participants received a huge amount of information. Opportunities for developing and continuing contacts, preparing and implementing joint projects, organizing mutual cooperation, as well as common approaches to the problems of overcoming the global crisis, etc. were identified.
The" technology " of conducting webinars did not develop immediately. The first event, similar to a webinar, was a round table - "Towards a common market of goods, services, capital and labor in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia". It was held at the World Trade Center (WTC) in Moscow on February 22, 2010. It was attended by 170 people. The small WTC press room could not accommodate everyone, and most of the participants watched what was happening on television screens installed in the lobby of the Center in an online video broadcast mode. Everyone, by the way, had the opportunity to ask questions to the speakers. The webinar was also broadcast to some regional chambers of commerce and industry.
This unusual event was led by the Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Mr. G. Among the speakers were Head of the Trade Policy Department of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) V. Chushkin, Deputy Director of the Department for the Formation of the Common Economic Space (SES) of the Ministry of Economic Development A. Sysoeva, Deputy Chairman of the Committee of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Product Quality O. Rosenthal, Director of the Department for Economic Cooperation and Integration with CIS Countries of the Ministry of Economic Development A. Tochin, Head of the Analytical Department of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation Federal Customs Service (FCS) V. Ivin, Director of the Institute of Trade Policy at the Higher School of Economics A. Daniltsev and Deputy Trade Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Russian Federation N. Godunova.
Almost all participants of the round table noted success in forming the internal market of the Customs Union (CU) countries. The unification process was completed in a short time: if the EU countries took 36 years, then Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan jointly managed to do it in a year. But there are still enough unsolved problems. It was said that business is not sufficiently informed about the situation and processes taking place in the CU and CES. Not all is well in the "customs economy": Chinese onions, grapes and melons from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, as well as" gray " equipment are transported across the border under the guise of goods produced in Kazakhstan, which causes direct economic damage to both individual states and the CU as a whole.
CHINA IS GETTING CLOSER
Is it difficult to organize and conduct an online seminar? Not simple and-most importantly -
time-consuming. This is how, for example, the webinar "Features of doing business in China" was prepared, which took place on March 17 this year.
First, a draft webinar program was sent to a number of regional CCIs with a request to give their suggestions. The next stage was collecting applications from potential participants, who numbered about 80 from 23 regions and republics of the Russian Federation. In total, representatives of 22 companies took part in the "electronic seminar", including large and well-known ones-Tactical Missile Armament Corporation, Atlant Plant, Helicopter Service Company, etc.
And finally, the webinar itself. It was led by Dmitry Rurikov, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Committee on Economic Integration of the SCO and CIS Countries. The first was made by the head of the Center for political studies, Institute of Far Eastern studies of D. Smirnov. He analyzed the current economic and political situation in China and, in particular, described the Chinese socialist market economy as a special type of economic system, spoke about the investment climate in China. Smirnov described in detail the main stages of economic reform in China, which put the country among the world leaders. The changes initiated in China in 1978 have produced impressive results. Production is growing steadily in almost all industries. From 1978 to 2010 GDP grew 115 times. For quite a long time, social security issues were not considered a priority in China; now, having accumulated forces, the country has taken up them closely. Although it will take decades to fully solve the country's social problems.
The online seminar was attended by the regional representative of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in East Asia, V. Padalko, who spoke about the rules of doing business in China and answered many questions. The most interesting speech was made by an Associate Professor of the Department of Oriental Studies at MGIMO(U) Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation V. Korsun. Apparently, because it was purely applied in nature, i.e. it contained a number of rules and practical recommendations that should guide businessmen when conducting business in China or when cooperating with Chinese entrepreneurs in Russia. He spoke in detail about the traditions and mentality of the Chinese, about the special etiquette of business communication, which is significantly different from the European one.
In China, he noted, there are traditional Confucian values, including special reverence for elders. They apply to both family and business relationships. A foreigner must know the elements of Chinese culture. For example, the main historical subjects, traditional holidays, as well as take into account the aphoristic nature of speech, know that in China they attach importance to "favorable" and "unfavorable" numbers, etc.
Dean of the Faculty of Political Science of MGIMO(U) A. Voskresensky devoted his speech to the global features of the Chinese foreign policy strategy. It is characterized, in particular, by different principles of forming a political elite from the Western ones, a formal departure from the administrative-command system while maintaining state control over public life and business, and a special role of personal relationships in the business sphere. China is aggressively entering new markets, increasing its financial and investment presence in Africa and Latin America, and actively buying up patents and other intellectual property products. The Chinese modernization strategy is based on clear planning, combining the experience of the United States and Japan, and a reasonable allocation of financial resources. China's experience in creating free economic zones and attracting foreign investment is very interesting and valuable.
At the end of the seminar, the participants were asked to express their opinion about what they had heard. They were mostly words of gratitude to the speakers: "I learned a lot of new and interesting things...", " A lot of useful and relevant information...", " The information is interesting and applicable in practice...", " It's great that I didn't even have to leave work to get such useful information..."
But not only that. Many people asked if there are articles and books on the topic of the webinar and how to get them, as well as if there are more detailed versions of the messages made on the Internet.
But there were also critical statements, as well as questions to the organizers: "Too many numbers that are not perceived by ear and tire...", " More examples from life...", " Preferably more purely practical information...", "How to listen to some reports again?..", " I would like to get a video- or audio information about the webinar to show your colleagues..." The last wish, by the way, was taken into account - all participants were sent CDs with an audio recording of the event.
Questions were also asked to lecturers "in the course" of their presentations. Summarizing them, we can conclude that not all our entrepreneurs consider the Chinese as reliable partners and therefore ask: how can you protect yourself from surprises when doing business in China and how to check the reputation of Chinese companies? It was also suggested that any contract with a Chinese company, unfortunately, cannot be considered final - its terms may change at any time. Prices are also often not constant, especially since the inhabitants of the Middle Kingdom like to bargain. However, all these problems, as the speakers explained, also fit into the Chinese mentality, which must be taken into account when doing business in China.
UZBEK BUSINESS VIRGIN LAND
Despite the fact that Internet seminars can have many "models", the " Russian-Uzbek "webinar, which took place almost a month after the" Russian-Chinese "one, significantly differed from the last one both in "drama" and in the set of questions posed. The People's Republic of China clearly has a reputation as a rapidly developing power, and extensive information has been accumulated about what is happening in the country, especially about Chinese economic reforms. Therefore, Russian-Chinese business is developing as if on a cultivated and fertilized field, while cooperation between our and Uzbek entrepreneurs remains largely virgin virgin land, which has yet to be raised. This idea was reflected in the speeches of almost all participants of the webinar "Peculiarities of doing business in Uzbekistan", held on April 14.
It was organized by the Committee of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Economic Integration of the SCO countries and the International Institute of Management of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the participation of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the Heritage of Eurasia Foundation, and the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Zada-
The goal set by the organizers is to revive cooperation between entrepreneurs of the two countries. Representatives of territorial chambers of commerce and industry, as well as businessmen who are already doing business in Uzbekistan and are just about to start it, were invited to participate in the event.
Participants of the Internet seminar noted in their speeches that, although the young state was part of pre-revolutionary Russia for decades,and then the USSR, little is known about modern Uzbekistan, especially about its economic potential. Most Russians still consider it a "white gold country", which is only partly true. The Republic of Uzbekistan is still one of the largest players in the world cotton market, and many compare the Tashkent Cotton Exchange to the Manchester one. But this state is also a huge storehouse of minerals. There are almost 8 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in the bowels of Uzbekistan, of which 3.4 trillion cubic meters are proved. The country ranks 4th in the world in gold production and 7th in uranium production. In addition, it has significant reserves of copper and a variety of mineral raw materials.
In other words, there are many opportunities for joint Russian-Uzbek business and mutually beneficial Russian investments in Uzbekistan. And such investments are being made, but most of them go to the fuel and energy sector. Uzbek-Russian and Uzbek-Chinese joint ventures are the most active here , while they are much smaller in other industries.
Meanwhile ,there are more than enough" points of application of forces " for joint business in this country. Gas and petrochemical complexes, plants that will produce mineral fertilizers and synthetic liquid fuel, as well as large textile enterprises are being built here. Industrial output more than doubled in 2010 compared to 2005. The increase is significant, but, given the huge potential available, it still looks relatively modest.
What prevents the country from developing faster and Russian businesses from making a more significant contribution to solving this problem?
First of all, the difficulties associated with the insufficient development of financial institutions and credit institutions, the weak integration of Uzbek banks into the global financial system, and the lack of a freely convertible currency. As a result, Russian entrepreneurs face a chronic delay in payments - for six months, or even longer.
Uzbekistan's economy is still under strong state control, which hinders the development of private entrepreneurship. When entering the market of this country, it is important to ensure good relations with the local elite and enlist recommendations from influential government representatives. In other words, the promotion of Russian projects, goods and services requires a significant administrative resource and personal connections.
In the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as in China, business has its own rituals and traditions, which it is desirable to remember and observe. Thus, in foreign partners, Uzbek entrepreneurs value not only honesty, but, above all, business acumen and perseverance. By the way, during the negotiations in Uzbekistan, given its complex relations with many neighbors, it is not necessary to talk about warm relations with representatives of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
THE DISCUSSION IS SHORT - LONG-TERM PROSPECTS
The online seminar "Peculiarities of doing Business in Tajikistan" was the shortest and perhaps less informative than the three webinars discussed above. And there is a reason for this - it was held almost immediately after the international conference " Tajikistan-Russia. 2010. Towards new horizons of interregional cooperation". It was held under the auspices of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedeva. In fact, all the most important issues of economic relations between the two countries have already been discussed.
The webinar was prepared by the Committee of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Economic Integration of the SCO and CIS countries with the participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the Heritage of Eurasia Foundation and the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Presentations were made by Deputy Chairman of the Russian CCI Committee Dmitry Rurikov, Head of the Tajikistan Department of the Third Department of CIS Countries of the Russian Foreign Ministry A. Kopylov and others. Almost all of them noted the dynamic, upward vector of development of Russian-Tajik economic relations. The main directions of possible Russian investments in the economy of Tajikistan were also mentioned: mining and textile industry, hydropower, tourism, infrastructure facilities.
This list has been supplemented by the Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in Tajikistan, A. A. Abramov. Yakovlev, speaking via videoconference. In his opinion, it is necessary to create branches of Russian banks in this country, involve Russian regions in training personnel for construction, housing and communal services, and the social sphere of Tajikistan. The young republic can expand the supply of early vegetables and fruits to nearby regions of Russia, and entrepreneurs of our country could take the initiative in creating a joint venture for processing agricultural products in Tajikistan, and equipment and technologies for them could also be supplied by Russian factories. E. Yatsenko, President of the Eurasia Heritage Foundation, spoke in detail about the specifics of business behavior and communication in Tajikistan.
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The Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Committee on Economic Integration of the SCO and CIS countries plans to hold regular webinars from the series "Peculiarities of Doing Business in the CIS and SCO countries". Proposals for the development of this area of work were discussed on December 3 last year at an expanded meeting of the Committee with online participation of representatives of 32 territorial chambers. The presidents of 12 other chambers took part in the discussion of the issue directly in Moscow. Their opinion was unanimous: such webinars are extremely useful. After all, even many large and highly experienced companies in international business are wary of working in the markets of the East, as they know little about local traditions, cultural customs and business rules.