17 December 2018

24th Franco-Russian Economic, Financial, Industrial and Trade Council

The 24th edition of the Franco-Russian Economic, Financial, Industrial and Trade Council (CEFIC) was held in Paris on 17 December 2018, co-chaired by Bruno Le Maire and Maxime Orechkine, the Russian Federation’s Minister of Economic Development. The event provided an opportunity to develop long-term cooperation in strategic economic fields.
 

France and Russia were pleased to see further consolidation of their bilateral cooperation, marked by an ongoing increase in exchanges. The growth to be observed in trust, transparency and dialogue is clear evidence of the two countries’ determination to continue to enrich their longstanding partnership at the service of economic activity and continuous sustainable improvement of their citizens’ living conditions.

In compliance with the joint Declaration signed in Saint Petersburg on 24 May 2018, bearing on the “New Franco-Russian partnership for tomorrow’s economy”, the CEFIC highlighted three priority fields for crosscutting cooperation: economic responses to climate change, new mobilities, and innovation and labour productivity. The CEFIC prepared roadmaps for each field, comprising concrete cooperation projects whose implementation will be regularly monitored.

Investments and modernisation of the economy

Cooperation on support to small and medium-sized enterprises will be the focus of a forum to be held in Paris in spring 2019. The Parties have also reached agreement on development of a partnership in the field of labour productivity and intensification of work in the context of a common investment partnership (BPI France – RDIF). New avenues for cooperation were discussed with regard to investments in the health sector, innovations and digital development in particular. The next exchanges will also explore possibilities of cooperation on green finance.

Sustainable smart cities

There will be continued support to innovative projects contributing to the fight against global warming, improvement of living conditions in cities, and stepping up the performance of public and private services. Public-private partnerships in these fields will also be encouraged.

Transport

Cooperation will also be developed with regard to rail and road transport, as well as in the field of smart transport and new mobilities, which will be the subjects of a forum to be held in 2019. More generally, the Workgroup emphasised the interest of continuing bilateral cooperation in the field of training, through organisation of the 6th conference of Transport Universities, which will take place in Paris in 2019.

Innovation

Thought will be given to implementation of a financial instrument designed to support bilateral technological partnerships and improved efficiency of existing mechanisms for calls for projects on joint creations by innovative companies. Among other things, the instrument will continue to support exchanges between clusters, innovation parks, technopoles and innovative regions. The Parties were pleased to see continuing deepening of bilateral cooperation in the field of “industry of the future”, a theme which will be the subject of a colloquium to be held in Moscow in March 2019.

Space

A number of cooperation themes were identified, including launchers, development of satellites, manufacture of on-board equipment and testing materials, activities on behalf of scientific and technological cooperation, digitisation of industrial processes, small satellites, and standardisation and use of data for studying the environment and climate. To this end, a Russian delegation will be visiting France during the year.

Intellectual property

The field of exchanges will be extended to use of intellectual property as a factor in development of innovation, and work will continue on protection of geographical indications in Russia and customs cooperation on combating counterfeiting. Perspectives for cooperation on training and monitoring circulation of medicines were also identified.

Nuclear energy

Cooperation will continue between the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA) and the Rosatom State Corporation, with a view to developing cooperation between French and Russian companies, in particular by incorporating SMEs and ISEs into export projects implemented by France and Russia. Exchanges between the two countries’ industrial concerns will continue via organisation of joint events, support for signature of agreements and contracts, and pursuit of institutional dialogue.

Tourism

France and Russia plan to focus on the economic aspects of cooperation in this field, now that the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Economic Development has been made responsible for tourism. Cooperation on digital technology and innovation will also continue, in particular through the DATAtourisme open linked data project.

Information technologies

The Parties have undertaken to find a rapid solution to stepping up cooperation in this field, following substantial contact on the subject initiated in late 2018. The Parties observe that digital technology is a theme common to all Workgroups, in particular in the field of innovation and startups, and confirm the interest of structured dialogue thereon.

Agriculture

The 8th Workgroup will meet in the first half of 2019 to discuss trade in agricultural products, investments in the agrifood sector and cooperation in the fields of human and plant health, agricultural education and viticulture.

Energy

The importance of renewable energies was highlighted and the Parties hope to develop cooperation between the two countries in this field. The stable, uninterrupted supply of natural gas between the two countries was welcomed, and France and Russia were pleased to see industrial cooperation in the gas sector. Cooperation will continue on further development and improvement of the efficiency, reliability and security of electricity grid infrastructures.

Aeronautics

A number of positive steps taken regarding cooperation in the context of the SaM-146 programme were welcomed, but various problems will need to be solved as rapidly as possible. The Parties support continuation of cooperation on the project bearing on provision and organisation of production of Ka-226T helicopters in India, cooperation in the field of aeronautical research, on industrial provisioning of selected French and Russian companies, and in the context of the CR929 project.

 

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