World Trade Organization (WTO)
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the meeting with the leaders of the World Chambers Federation’s General Council, Moscow, September 11, 2019
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am glad about this meeting that we are holding at the Foreign Ministry. I would like to note that we are pleased that the World Chambers Federation’s General Council has chosen Moscow for its meeting.
I heard that your work is going very well and that the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has made all the necessary arrangements for business and sightseeing in the Russian capital
Current international relations are greatly increasing the role of the business community in forming a positive agenda and in ensuring the decisive role of the economic and investment foundation in interstate ties. The more powerful the economic foundation of these ties is, the less the temptation to politicise various processes and the more motivated states are to concentrate on real problems that should be resolved in the interests of our people and entrepreneurs and on the basis of the balance of interests and mutual benefit.
These efforts are complicated by the increasing domination not of the rules of competition but of protectionism in its most aggressive manifestations and trade wars. This is undermining the current cooperation ties and the established added value chains. This is why we have deep respect for your efforts to resolve existing problems. You are always guided by practical considerations and mutual advantage.
In this context, you can play a very important role in upholding the principles of the open multilateral trade system and the fundamental concepts of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as well as in reforming it with a view to avoiding some unilateral excesses.
There is yet another negative trend – the fragmentation of the global economic space and the shifting of emphasis from integration to bilateral deals. In this context, we rely on your participation in promoting multilateral agreements that will harmonise various economic structures and initiatives of different countries. Thus, we are promoting what President Vladimir Putin called the Greater Eurasian project – large-scale Eurasian partnership with the participation of all organisations and all countries located on our enormous Eurasian continent.
There are many items on the agenda of the global economic community. I am sure that your sessions in Moscow during these days will help determine what direction it is necessary to move in to score the best results.