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Duke Hosts Russian Official for Briefing on Business in Russia

Duke Hosts Russian Official for Briefing on Business in Russia

Official cites ties with Duke's international programs

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russian business exchange
Mikhail Margelov, pictured at the top of the table, talks to Duke faculty members and others during a rountable discussion on business in Russia.

Durham, NC - The landscape for business in Russia is changing, and the country is looking for partners to further economic development, said a leading Russian foreign affairs official during a visit to Duke July 13.

Senator Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation met with representatives of the Fuqua School of Business and the Office of Global Strategy and Programs. The meeting was arranged by the US Russia Business Council and attended by a representative from Senator Richard Burr's office and Jean Davis, director of International Trade for the North Carolina Department of Commerce. 

"We want our partners to remember we are not the second edition of the Soviet Union, we are a totally different country," Margelov said.

The group discussed the experiences of foreign companies that have done well in Russia, as well as those that were not successful.  Margelov cautioned against organizations trying to implement what they know about the American economy without adjusting for local conditions in Russia.

Fuqua Professors Fernando Bernstein, Tony O'Driscoll and Bill Boulding shared their perspectives on teaching about the Russian business environment as part of Duke's Cross Continent MBA program.  Bernstein and O'Driscoll, both of whom had just returned from teaching in Russia the week before, cited the importance of bringing Duke's Cross Continent and Global Executive MBA students into close contact with Russian companies and executives. 

O’Driscoll described how he challenges his students to consider their classroom learning in light of the Russian business environment and to use that context as they evaluate business cases and decisions as part of their MBA studies.

Margelov recalled visiting Duke in 1997 at the invitation of Duke Professor Ellen Mickiewicz and a return trip in 1998.  At the time, he was head of public relations for Russian President Boris Yeltsin's administration.

A member of Russia's Federation Council since 2000, Margelov was appointed by Russian President Medvedev as Russia's special envoy to Africa in March 2011, and has served as a presidential envoy to Sudan since 2008.

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