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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 27, 2003

Russian-American Business Dialogue Fact Sheet
Russian-American Business Dialogue

The Russian-American Business Dialogue was established by the Russian and American business communities and was welcomed by Presidents Bush and Putin at the Genoa Summit in July 2001. The Russian-American Business Dialogue is steered by the U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC), American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham), Russian-American Business Council (RABC), and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs on behalf of the business communities of both countries.

The Dialogue's agenda is set by the business communities. It is a business-to-business mechanism intended to expand contact between the two private sectors; to identify areas where laws, regulations, and practices impede trade and investment; and to provide a forum where business interests can be raised with the respective governments. The Dialogue is open to companies and business associations who wish to participate.

By elevating the involvement of the business community in bilateral discussions, the two presidents sought to promote economic reform, a transparent and predictable business climate and rule of law, and to work towards Russia's early accession to the WTO.

In May 2003, the Dialogue issued its second report, which cites progress by the two governments in such areas as simplification of Russian currency controls, U.S. trade-law recognition of Russia as a market economy, and positive steps in small business tax reform in Russia. The report also outlined areas of continued concern such as Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization on standard terms, Russia's graduation from the Jackson-Vanik amendment, improvements in Russia's regime for protecting intellectual property, reform of Russia's financial and judicial systems and the reduction of bureaucratic barriers to business in Russia.

Commerce Secretary Evans and Minister of Economic Development and Trade Gref met with Dialogue leaders and other participants in Moscow on September 24, 2003 to discuss the business communities priorities and to announce the publication of a business ethics manual sponsored by the Dialogue. The Dialogue will host a series of roundtables to educate, and train business leaders on good business practices and corporate governance.

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