Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport
I visited Moscow on 28 – 30 June 2013 accompanied by senior officials and a trade mission of five Welsh companies. The aim of the visit was to explore trade links with Russia and specifically with Kaluga Region, establish links with Embassy staff and local trade bodies. The opportunity also arose during the Mission to support the Welsh Rugby Union with their initial consideration to bid to host the 2018 World Cup Sevens in Cardiff.
Accompanied by my officials I attended a number of high level meetings and held discussions with the British Ambassador, his key staff and representatives from trade bodies, both British and Russian. I also had the privilege of meeting two Ministers from Kaluga Region, which is the key Region for the Russian Automotive and light engineering sector. This meeting was fruitful and I am following up a number of potential leads with the Russian Trade Delegation in London and via other channels.
You would wish to be aware that I also travelled with representatives from five Wales based companies, namely Dunbia (Meat Processor), Randel Parker Foods (Lamb and Beef Slaughters and Packers), Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion), Corgi Hosiery and Total Engine Support (Aerospace ) all of whom exhibited their goods and explored the Russian market via UKTI staff.
The following companies showcased their produces at the Welsh Trade Reception, namely; Burts Biscuits and Cakes Ltd / Ogmore Vale Bakery, The Anglesey Sea Salt Company, Welsh Hills Bakery, The Good Carb Food Company Ltd, Drink Paq Ltd / Iconiq Drinks, Clarks-UK Ltd, The Celt Experience Brewery, Wholebake Ltd, The Welsh Whisky Company, S.A. Brains Ltd (in conjunction with the Worldwide Drinks company) and Ty Nant Spring Water.
All companies were extremely grateful for the support they received from my officials and British Embassy staff, they are all very keen to explore further commercial opportunities in Russia.
Whilst not originally planned, my discussions with the IRB highlighted the need to stress our world class sporting, cultural and economic opportunities if we are to stand any chance of hosting this prestigious event. I am in no doubt that I wish work with the Minister for Sport and Culture to support the WRU with their bid.
In summary my trip to Moscow highlighted the potential of the Russian market for Wales.