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