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AmCham St Petersburg in 2011

AmCham St Petersburg – 2011 results and achievements

As the year 2011 is approaching its end and the world is enjoying the Holiday Season, AmCham St. Petersburg is summing up the results of the year. It would be no exaggeration to say that for 14 years of work, the St Petersburg Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia has evolved into the largest and most influential foreign business organization in North-West Russia, successfully advocating the regional business community’s common as well as member companies’ individual interests at all levels. The growing number of Russian companies seeking AmCham membership demonstrates that both the economy and the appreciation of our core values of transparency and responsibility are growing in Russia. AmCham St. Petersburg has become a key player in the local investment scene thanks in large part to the impressive work and dedicated efforts of our members.

Finishing 2011 and greeting the upcoming AmCham St Petersburg Jubilee Year of 2012, we are happy to report the following achievements:

In 2011, AmCham St. Petersburg grew to 170 member companies;

In 2011, the Chapter has maintained close working relationships with the St Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast governments and regional representatives of federal authorities (Rosprirodnadzor, Customs, Rospotrebnadzor, Gospozhnadzor, Rostechnadzor, regional office of Federal Migration Service and others), enabling us to effectively advocate in the interests of our member companies and to lower administrative barriers that hamper international investments in the region. 

To give you just a few examples of the advocacy efforts that AmCham has been pursuing in 2011:

Federal Government Advocacy
(jointly focused on by AmCham in Moscow and St Petersburg)
  • Customs concept implementation - further closure of the remaining customs posts prevented;
  • Labor relations with the disabled - collected legislative amendments from St Petersburg members delivered to the Russian ministry of Health and Social Development through Moscow HQ;
  • Temporary staffing issue – data on potential impact on St Petersburg member companies collected and passed on to Moscow HQ;
  • United Social Tax increase  - reduced rate for IT sector;
  • Authorized Economic Operators - member companies views and suggestions delivered to the Ministry for Economic Development via Moscow HQ;
Regional and St. Petersburg Advocacy
  • Energy tariffs growth – the issue was raised through the St Petersburg government on a federal level, and maximum 15% controlled annual growth of tariffs was set up;
  • Customs procedures at Pulkovo, St Petersburg and Baltic customs;
  • Localization process and lack of local suppliers – special Search for Suppliers (S4S) program developed jointly with CEDIPT St Petersburg;
  • Lack of qualified labor force – Dual Education initiative launched; IT Academy established;
  • Ice situation in the St Petersburg Sea Port – the Port authorities jointly with the City government and Rosmorflot developed a plan for the 2011-2012 navigation season to mitigate winter weather implications.

On the international level, AmCham’s critical role in Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been widely acknowledged in Russia and abroad; but following this great success, in the year ahead, AmCham will now be a fundamental informational resource in terms of analyzing and communicating what this accession will directly mean to our member companies and across sectors.

During 2011, the Chapter has held the total of 148 events and activities, including but not limited to:

  • The Annual Meeting in March and two General Membership Meetings in May and September brought to you high-profile speakers – the State Duma Deputy Ilia Ponomarev, Chairman of the St Petersburg Investment Committee Alexey Chichkanov and a member of the Presidential Commission for Modernization and Technological Development of Russian Economy Igor Agamirzian, who spoke and answered your questions about most important issues on the economic agenda of the region.
  • The most active part of our operations—committee meetings—has continued to grow, having held 79 meetings on various issues and topics. A new committee – Procurement - has been launched, on the member companies’ initiative, and the Automotive sub-committee was graduated to a regular, fully-fledged committee.
  • Nine seminars and round tables on the topical issues - such as IT and Automotive clusters development; investment climate in St Petersburg and Leningrad oblast; changes in migration policy regulations; Unified Documents Center procedures for work permits; labor safety and ‘zero-accident’ programs; energy tariffs and quality standards for electricity; labor law; tax legislation and practices development - have drawn a lot of attention and attracted speakers and participants from the relevant federal and regional authorities as well as member companies’ leading experts.
  • Four traditional social events—Annual mini-soccer tournament, Soccer match between AmCham Dream Team and St. Petersburg Government team, U.S. Independence Day and Holiday party—gave fun and warmth to AmCham members and friends and their families. This year, the most popular July 4 celebration brought together over 500 guests – representatives of the member companies, regional authorities and diplomatic corps who enjoyed delicious food, lively music, handcraft workshop and other entertainment.

Detailed information and reports on all our activities – events, meetings, conferences and seminars as well as projects and program - can be found on this website.

We hope you have enjoyed the passing year and your membership with AmCham St. Petersburg. We highly appreciate your support in 2011 and assure you that we shall do our best to meet your expectations in the Chapter’s Jubilee Year 2012.

Season’s Greetings!

AmCham St Petersburg Staff