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DateThursday, September 08, 2011

From Russia with Pavlovsk

Chance Meeting Two Decades Ago Leads to Renewed Connections Between Pushkin and Pavlovsk, Russia and Shannon, Ireland



RUSSIA.pngA chance meeting over twenty years ago between a Russian engineer, Dr Victor Afansenko, and a Shannon-based company director when they flew into Shannon has resulted in a new business connection being established between Russia and Ireland.


Then working on an international space project for the European Space Agency at NUI Maynooth, Dr Afansenko is now director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Pushkin and Pavlovsk, one of the 175 Chambers of Commerce in Russia, and he intends re-establishing connections to promote trade, scientific, academic and cultural co-operation when he announces the appointment of Pádraig Cleary, director, May Day Management Consultants, as the Chamber’s new Ireland representative.



Dr Afansenko is due to fly from Russia into Ireland next week when he attends an Ireland Russian Business Association Conference at Westpark Conference Centre, Shannon Free Zone as keynote speaker, outlining how Pushkin Chamber, which  facilitates new Russia market entrants to the region which has a population of 5 million and the second city of Russia.



Irish exports to Russia are increasing steadily – €51.5 million in April 2011, up from €40.6 million in March and up on €35.8 million a year ago, and the Irish trade balance with Russia in April 2011 stood at €36.5 million – the highest trade balance achieved in bilateral trade with Russia in any month since January 2009.



Pádraig Cleary said: "Irish business cannot afford to ignore Russia as a potential target market with the telecommunications and IT, finance, education, construction and food sectors giving the most opportunity."


But Cleary warns there are no quick hits to doing business in Russia: "Irish businesses and organisations wishing to explore and enter the dynamic Russian market need independent, credible and trustworthy facilitators because doing business in Russia takes time, requires local knowledge, contacts and understanding, openness and a willingness to meet potential Russian partners in a spirit of mutual respect and benefit."



Also presenting at the conference are Dr Neill Robinson, senior lecturer in politics at the University of Limerick, who will set Russia in context; Katerina Kostyunina, business development advisor Russia with Enterprise Ireland will outline the market opportunities for Ireland and; Elena Mishina, head of Royal Bank of Scotland, St Petersburg, Russia will give an overview of the ‘ups and downs’ of banking in Russia; and two Irish companies will relate their experiences on trading with Russia.



"The Shannon Conference is very timely and has been framed to give attendees a full appreciation of the opportunities for business in Russia and how to start the process of engaging with this dynamic market of over 140 million customers, which includes 60 million Internet users," Cleary added.



The conference takes place in Shannon on Wednesday, 14 September.





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