Ugra’s Governor had a working meeting with the ambassador of France
16 November 2019, Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia)
Natalia Komarova, the Governor of Ugra, held a business meeting with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to Russia, Sylvie Bermann. The French Ambassador visited Ugra to strengthen and expand economic, cultural cooperation and agreements.
“The dialogue between our countries is regular and constructive. And our region contributes to this dialogue,” Natalia Komarova said. “Ugra’s foreign trade turnover with France in H1 2019 amounted to more than 88 mln USD. The main item is export of mineral fuel and oil products.”
In the course of the meeting, the governor focused on some promising projects of cooperation between the parties. The day before, the government of the Autonomous Okrug approved a memorandum of cooperation with the French Institute for Renewable Energy Sources. Among the areas of cooperation are development and implementation of joint scientific programs and projects in the field of enhanced oil recovery, educational programs in the oil and gas industry, and activities aimed at improving the efficiency of activities in this industry.
“We look forward to working on joint venues to improve oil recovery, to implementing the UNESCO project to develop educational programs for training mining engineers in the field of oil and gas production, and to certify the programs and standards of these professions. This is a very interesting project that is mutually beneficial for both parties,” Natalia Komarova added.
The head of the region told the ambassador about the International Scientific Forum “Oil Capital” held in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. “We are looking forward to hosting the experts of the French Institute of Renewable Energy, the Total Company on this Forum, with whom we have a long and fruitful cooperation,” Natalia Komarova said. Sylvie Bermann revealed that in the near future she is planning to have a meeting with representatives of the Total Company and intends to voice the proposals of the Ugra party and provide maximum support in their promotion.
“In addition, there will soon be a meeting of two Ministers of Economy - the Russian Minister Maxim Oreshkin and the French Minister Bruno Le Maire. They will consider all types and opportunities of economic cooperation between our countries. Of course, there are priority areas, including energy, but we are particularly interested in energy efficiency technologies. Russia has a serious potential in this area. And we could find solutions for the rational use of available resources, digital technologies in this area,” the ambassador added.
Speaking about the projects implemented in the Autonomous Okrug in the field of higher education, Natalia Komarova noted their practical content. The Ugra State University and Orleans University are implementing the International Grant Project “Interact-2”. The universities are conducting joint research on the environment, climate, biodiversity and permafrost.
“We actively use our raw material resources to diversify the economy. In this regard, we are extremely interested in cooperation in the non-resource sector of the economy,” Natalia Komarova continued, “We are also engaged in the development of this area, despite the fact that we are not an agricultural region. Ugra has a very interesting set of offers of food products. These products have a unique taste due to the use of ecologically pure wild herbs, which undoubtedly arouses interest among consumers. In this regard, we expect that our estimates are right and you, Madam Ambassador, will assist in promoting our product group in the French market.”
“European countries are certainly interested in supplying environmentally friendly products. Wonderful Ugra herbs, tea, and edible wild plants have such properties. I can give you the most positive recommendations for your products. Now we have to find ways to sell your products in our markets,” Sylvie Bermann added.
The governor of Ugra stressed that the region is ready to offer French investors promising projects in the areas of tourism, sanatorium-resort business, equipment manufacturing, woodworking, fish processing and other industries.
“France is very interested in the development of tourism,” Sylvie Bermann supported Natalia Komarova. “Our citizens love beautiful nature, unique places. So I think Ugra will be of interest to the French tourism community. I consider the development of tourism promising for both countries. The French are well acquainted with Moscow and St. Petersburg, but have never seen other regions of Russia, including Ugra.”
The ambassador also noted that 2021 is the year of the regions of France and Russia. According to the ambassador, this will provide new opportunities for the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug to present its capabilities in the European republic, to open new opportunities for cooperation.
Sylvie Bermann informed that in 2020 in France there will be guest performances of Russian artists within the framework of the project “Russian Seasons”. In this regard, she suggested that Ugra’s creative teams should also be included in the project.
We will definitely join this project. We are already preparing events for the cross year of the two countries’ regions together with the Russian government,” Natalia Komarova said. “Every year, the Autonomous Okrug hosts the film festival “The Spirit of Fire”, which is frequented by well-known French filmmakers.
Following up on the discussion, the governor referred to the consolidation of the active women of the world in order to unlock and make the best use of their creativity and business potential. “Chairman of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matvienko heads the Eurasian Women’s Forum. It has created a club of women leaders, which I coordinate. It brings together influential women for the joint development of each individual territory and our countries as whole. In December, the International Humanitarian Forum “Civil Initiatives of the Regions of 60th Parallel” will be held in Ugra. It hosts a discussion club “Women’s influence on regional development.” I can’t ignore this opportunity, so we look forward to seeing you again in December. You are the most valuable expert for us!” Natalia Komarova stated.
“Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug is a very interesting region with which we will develop cooperation not only in the field of energy, but also in health care, tourism and other spheres. It is a beautiful region with beautiful nature, clean air. I’m very fond of Russian winter, which I could enjoy here. I’m very happy to be in Ugra,” Sylvie Bermann summed up.