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Mikhail Levchuk Participated in the Russian-Finnish Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation

October 2021 the Russian-Finland Intergovernmental Commission met in Helsinki (Finland). The Commission was chaired by the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov and the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland Ville Skinnari. On the margins of the Commission a meeting between the Ministers and a number of major Russian and Finland companies was held. The agenda of the Commission also included a Finnish-Russian roundtable discussion on banking issues. One of the Russian business representatives at the Commission was the CEO of Argus Spectrum International Mikhail Levchuk.

In the plenary meeting the participants discussed Russian-Finnish cooperation in economy, industry, power, technology and transport. The Minister of Finland Ville Skinnari pointed out that the Russian Federation was one of the most important markets for Finland and due to this fact a major goal for both countries today was to further develop cooperation and enhance the linkages. COVID-19 pandemic became a great challenge for global cooperation, and today it was the time to increase the joint effort in all areas between Russia and Finland.

Russian-Finnish Dialogue

The Russian Ambassador to Finland Pavel Kuznetsov and the Russian Trade Representative in Finland Anton Loginov also took part in the meeting between the Ministers and the major Russian and Finnish companies. Along with Argus Spectrum International the Russian side was represented by leading companies of energy and power spheres, electronics industry and shipbuilding including JSC Rusatom Overseas, RAO Nordic Oy, PAO Severstal, the United Shipbuilding Corporation and others. The Finnish side was presented by Raute Oyj, Huhtamäki Oyj, Valio Oyj, Paulig Oyj, UPM Kymmene Oy, PayIQ Oy, Vilakone Oy, UPM Kymmene Oy, PayIQ Oy, Vilakone Oy as well as the Heads of East Finland Industry Office and the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce. 

According to Denis Manturov, direct dialogue with business representatives enables us to keep up with all the problems and main issues, collect suggestions and proposals which then can be developed and worked through, and this helps to make final and informed decisions at the governmental level. 

During the meeting the participants shared their experience of operating during the pandemic, discussed the main issues of trade cooperation between two countries and expressed their hopes and plans for developing on Russian-Finnish markets. 

Subsidizing of Mandatory Certification for Foreign Trade Companies

In his speech at the Commission Mikhail Levchuk referred to the issue of mandatory certification requirement which becomes one of the biggest obstacles when entering foreign market. The time factor is crucial: without rapid output of products to foreign markets, high-tech companies rapidly lose their competitiveness and become unable to conduct fully-fledged production activities. Meanwhile, expensive and time-consuming processes of certification makes this task even more complicated. However, the program of subsidizing external certification operating on the territory of Russia does not contain a protected budget item for manufacturers of the radio-electronic industry and sufficient funding. At the same time there are no existing certification subsidy programs in Finland. And this is the main need of state support for foreign trade companies in accordance with state goals and interest in the development of export-oriented companies on the territories of the two countries.

Russian-Finnish Roundtable Discussion on Banking Issues

During the Commission the routable discussion on banking services supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Finnish-Russian Business Council was also held. The main goal of the event was to discuss problems of banking services faced by Russian companies in Finland. The representatives of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Finance of Finland, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Federation of Finnish Financial Services, Embassy of the Russian Federation in Finland, the Trade Representation of the Russian Federation in Finland as well as business and financial representatives of both countries took part in the discussion. Mikhail Levchuk participated in the meeting as well. 

 Banking services for Russian companies in Finland is one of the most pressing issues in the context of cross-border cooperation. Russian business faces with the situations of forced closures of bank accounts and the inability to open them again. Nowadays more than $3 billion of Russian direct investments have been accumulated in the economy of Finland. And not only are Russian funders influenced negatively by banking problems but also Finnish economy is affected as those companies are among the biggest employers, taxpayers and investors in regional development. 

During the meeting business and financial representatives came up with a number of solutions aimed at eliminating the problem. 

Argus Spectrum International in Europe

For more than 20 years Argus Spectrum International has been operating on the European market. Argus Spectrum International wireless technologies, developed in St Petersburg, protect such significant buildings as the Queen’s Castle in Scotland, Edinburgh Castle, Cambridge University, Eton College, etc. December 2019 the Grand Opening Ceremony of the European factory was held in Savonlinna (Finland). Earlier in 2019 the two manufacturing facilities of Argus Spectrum International – in the Russian Federation and in Europe – successfully passed the demanding LPCB audits and awarded the highly recognized LPCB mark. 

 May 2020 Argus Spectrum International successfully completed certification of the “Streletz-PRO” wireless fire detection system to European EN 54 standards by the LPCB (UK) which confirms the highest levels of performance and reliability for "Streletz-PRO" wireless products. 

Today Argus Spectrum International in cooperation with European partners supplies its wireless fire alarm system to the UK, UAE, India and Australia. The company is committed to expand the range of wireless products and increase production by Euro 50 million per year. 

Based on the publication from the Trade Representation of the RF in Finland website