Russian MP participants joining the annual conference “German-Russian Entrepreneur Talks”, a joint event organised by BMWi, the Consulate General of the Russian Federation and GIZ, has now become a well-established tradition. In late June of 2017, Russian managers who were currently completing their training at the Carl Duisberg Centres in Cologne participated in this year’s event. In the imposing halls of the Russian Consulate General in Bonn, renowned experts with extensive experience related to Russia explained and discussed the practical issues of pursuing business activities in Russia. Company representatives from German and international companies from Russia also reported on the challenges that must now be mastered. The business networking event with German entrepreneurs was a special highlight for the MP participants from Russia, though.
Cooperation significantly increases the ability to innovate, especially in small businesses, because increasing pressure to compete and lower costs are forcing SME to look for new paths – particularly in international business. During preparations for the cooperation exchange the participants were sensitized to the importance of never blindly setting up any and all contacts. The overarching objective was: My business – and that of my networking partner – should profit from cooperation, so a precise analysis should be conducted of for which persons and organizations it would be worth it to establish a relationship. This was not very easy to do for the Russian entrepreneurs because they did not know which German companies would actually be attending until the very day of the event. But all participants had carefully reflected on what they have to offer and what they expect from a potential partner while also remaining open minded for companies or business ideas that never would have occurred to them before.
In this sense, David Rostomian presented his disinfectant mats to the German company Decomed – he could offer low prices and Decomed could tell him about what German customers expect. Oleg Zheltov from the lawyer’s office Incor Allicance in Moscow had the opportunity to speak with representatives from five lawyer’s offices at the cooperation meeting looking for partners in Russia in his areas of specialty (copyright law and immigration law).
The meeting was not just important for establishing additional contacts, but first and foremost to see practically how valuable contacts that are prepared and followed up on are, that a programme of economic cooperation must always consist of win-win deals, and that it is helpful to make contacts with potential partners.
By Mareike Dröge
Carl Duisberg Centres, Cologne