On March 25, 2015, Meridian held an installment of the Global Business@Meridian Downtown breakfast series. Hosted by Ms. Kathleen Black, Director of Government Relations for Coca-Cola, the program was attended by 25 senior corporate leaders with vested interests in Russia. The session was moderated by Ambassador Stuart Holliday, President and CEO of Meridian International Center, and featured a conversation with His Excellency Sergey Kislyak, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States.
Following Ambassador Kislyak’s opening remarks on U.S.-Russia bilateral relations and the current trade and investment climate in Russia, participants engaged in a group discussion on relevant opportunities and challenges for U.S. companies seeking to establish or expand their respective business operations and social initiatives in Russia.
Topics broadly covered included: key areas of opportunity for diversifying foreign direct investment in Russia; reinforcement of B2B markets as a central channel through which the United States and Russia can most effectively collaborate; the implications of the U.S.-E.U. sanctions on current U.S.-Russia relations; Russia’s commitment to innovation in business; and ongoing opportunities for bilateral partnership through cultural and social avenues, including the recent Olympic games and the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.