/ Go to the mediabankThe Taras Shevchenko walkway (right) along the Moscow Embankment. The photo also features a view of the Hotel Ukraina, the Russian House of Government, and the Moscow Mayor’s Office. / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaDenis BolotskyIn an interview with Sputnik on the sidelines of the XV Verona Eurasian Economic Forum, chief executive of the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Russia expressed his opinion on the issues of how anti-Russian sanctions affect Belgian and Luxembourg business and European space potential for growth.Sputnik: What is your mission here at the Verona Forum? Why did you choose to participate?Oleg Prozorov: First of all, thank you for your question. We are a long-standing partner with Mr Fallico [Antonio Fallico, president of Banca Intesa Russia and Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation in Verona since 2008] and his association. We have organized already our common events in Brussels in 2019. And secondly, and most of all, is because our Chamber of Commerce, the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, was especially created many years ago to maintain and create a parallel connection between the countries in interest for our members, business cycles from Belgium and Luxembourg. And for us today, any initiative, especially private initiative as this one, it’s very important. And of course, we support it. We support this forum and the initiative of Mr Fallico.Sputnik: Does European space have a potential for growth? Eurasian space even has a potential for growth when it comes to business and economy. Trade barriers and restrictions, are they a serious obstacle for businesses from Belgium and Luxembourg?Oleg Prozorov: But of course: any obstacles, as you mentioned, which do not let the business cooperate in freedom, it’s not good at all. And we never supported any sanctions related to the business. But at the same time, our goal is not political. Our goal is, first of all, economical and that’s why we believe that the common Eurasian spaces between Lisbon and Vladivostok will be created one day, of course.Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineWestern Sanctions Against Russia Primarily Affect Europe: Bosnia’s Serb Leader Dodik to Ria Novosti22 September 2022, 05:44 GMTSputnik: Even if we don’t talk about politics, but sanctions are in place, how much do they affect Belgian businesses in particular at the moment? Once these restrictions are lifted – and, hopefully, they will be one day – what are the most promising areas for potential cooperation between Russia and the Belgian business?Oleg Prozorov: But, you know, the Belgian business and Luxembourg business is very present in Russia. We have more than 80 factories and production lines in Russia belonging to our members. And they continue, of course, to work on the Russian territory. But in the same time, on the response to the first question related to the sanctions, of course, these sanctions, first of all, make obstacles for our exporters – for the companies who produce in Belgium, because there are problems with the supply chain, there is a problem with the transfer of finance. And to the second question, I think any area on economic sectors, it’s promising today because we have to maintain all the relations which is on place today.Sputnik: Belgian farmers were the ones who suffered a lot from closure of the Russian markets. Will they be able to regain positions if sanctions are lifted or will their place in Russia already be taken by businesses from other countries?Oleg Prozorov: But of course – for the farmers suffering from 2015 already, and I don’t think that now they will easily get back on the Russian market, because we know very well that a company that has already left the market will lose the trust of Russian customers and of Russian businessmen. That’s why I hope that future will bring us a positive note also in the agricultural sector.WorldUS-China Trade Up 6.9% in First Three Quarters of This Year – Chinese Customs24 October 2022, 04:01 GMTSputnik: Speaking of the future, are you still receiving any enquiries from Belgian businesses who would like to go eastwards to Russia, maybe to other countries as well? Who are these people? If so, what are they interested in?Oleg Prozorov: But as I said to your first questions, the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, it’s a big network of more than 40 Belgian-Luxembourg chambers all around the world. And as I said, our goals are mostly to support Belgian-Luxembourg businesses and players. But of course, we still receive it as from our colleagues from abroad – from different countries as United States, Japan, etc – some request about the Russian markets. And secondly, we see today mostly the companies with need for more energy for the production. They are starting to look, of course, to move the production line in the world where the cost of energy is less than today in Europe. And of course, we’re all waiting for the situation to become normal. And from this moment, of course, I believe the Belgian business and Luxembourg business will start to relocate their businesses to the Russian Federation, which has already been planned for years. Because since 2015 we noted 20… 25 new production lines in Russia belonging to our members.
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