Krasnodar, 26 August. Our today’s interviewee is Tadzio Schilling, Chief Executive Officer, Association of European Businesses (AEB).
Q.: The 25+ anniversary of AEB is a good occasion to review the results of its activities. What are the main achievements of the Association?
A.: Our Association has worked its way up from a little business club in the early 1990s to a major representative of international investors in Russia. Presently the AEB unites more than 500 large, midsize and small companies from 43 countries. They represent over 20 branches of industry: from oil and gas to IT and telecom to pharmaceutics to HORECA sectors. According to the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, over the past 25 years European companies have invested USD 300 billion and implemented more than 2,000 projects in various national economic sectors. Many companies have localized their production in Russia, and have for a long while been successfully exporting their products to other countries. All these have been achieved despite the complicated geopolitical conditions and other numerous challenges faced by the European business community.
Q.: Which projects are most important for your Association?
A.: In the light of the growing significance of such global challenges as climate changes, we can expect a growing number of joint projects both in conventional and in relatively new sectors. Say, earlier this year we launched the Green Initiative project, aimed at upholding of interests of European businesses, promotion of best European practices and technologies, and development of cooperation with Russian stakeholders and partners in climate policy and energy efficient economy. If the shift to energy efficiency and ‘green’ technologies would occupy a central position in international trade and investments, it may become a brand-new line in our bilateral cooperation and it would positively affect our economic relations. In recent years, the movement towards sustainable development and expansion of the ESG agenda have acquired a larger scale and significance.
Q.: How have you celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Association?
A.: We had to postpone the celebrations in 2020 – so much more valuable an opportunity to celebrate our 25+ anniversary was looking this year. On April 22, we held a flagship online conference dedicated to issues of post-pandemic economic recovery, energy transformation, environmental protection, digital transformation, and shaping leaders of the future. The solemn ceremony and reception held in Moscow and the release of our jubilee magazine were our next important events. The Anniversary will be continued this autumn in the regions: on September 30 in St. Petersburg, and on November 18 in Krasnodar. I consider it very important that Krasnodar, the city where our first regional branch office was opened, will become the venue of our final Anniversary celebrations, as if reviewing the results of 2021. It has not been a simple year, though it has inspired us in its own way and offered hope for the brighter future.
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