OREANDA-NEWS. The Third Russian-Armenian Interregional Forum, “Russia. Armenia. The Customs Union”, took place in Armenia. The events attended by the presidents of the two countries started in Gyumri on Monday and ended in Yerevan with an exhibition of regions and section meetings in the roundtable format.

A delegation of the CCI of Russia led by Chamber President Sergey Katyrin participated in the forum. Katyrin addressed the audience at the plenary meeting.

Russia and Armenia have been maintaining sustainable and mutually advantageous trade and economic relations for many years, Sergey Katyrin noted. There are numerous points of contact between small and medium businesses of the two countries. Many Russian regions are involved in the bilateral trade with Armenia, and Russian companies are energetically doing business on the Armenian territory. The Armenian side has an equally keen interest in cooperation with Russia, primarily in such sectors as oil, gas, railroads, hydropower, atomic energy, telecommunications and banking.

Sergey Katyrin welcomed the decision of Armenia to join the Customs Union. Armenia does not border on the Customs Union member countries but this will not impede the unification process. By the way, Armenia, thanks to its geographic position, may efficiently play the role of a bridge in cooperation with the Near and Middle East.

Trade between Armenia and Russia is comparatively small for now. The Customs Union will create additional opportunities for growth. In addition, the Customs Union makes it possible to be more active in the joint protection of the interests of our countries on the global markets. There is no doubt that direct regional cooperation and the interaction between small and medium businesses will develop more rapidly.

Chambers of commerce and industry of the two countries play a prominent part in the development of business cooperation. A number of Russia's territorial chambers have concluded cooperation agreements with the CCI of Armenia and the CCI of Yerevan.

The CCI of Russia is actively fostering the economic integration of SCO and CIS member countries with businesses of the Customs Union states. Seminars have been held as regards the issues of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space and the accession to the World Trade Organization. The CCI of Armenia is welcome to join these activities, Sergey Katyrin stressed.

An exhibition of regions and section meetings in the roundtable format were held in Yerevan on Tuesday.

Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsian and Russian-Armenian Intergovernmental Commission Cochairman, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov visited the Expocenter stand at the exhibition on December 3. The Armenian prime minister was given detailed information about the role of Expocenter in the promotion of goods and services on the markets of both countries. He was presented with a list of Armenian enterprises and organizations, which had taken part in Expocenter exhibitions in the past two years. The prime minister thanked the Expocenter collective and stressed the paramount importance of the assistance in the promotion of products of small and medium businesses on the market.

Eurasian Integration: New Opportunities for the Business World Roundtable was held on the forum sidelines. Its moderators were Deputy Chairman of the CCI of Russia Committee on the Economic Integration of SCO and CIS Countries Boris Pastukhov and Executive Director of the CCI of Armenia Araik Vardanian.