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    UPPER HOUSE SPEAKER CALLS FOR CHANGING FOREIGN INVESTMENT STRUCTURE

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    MOSCOW, February 18th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Maria Balynina) - Speaker of the Russian Federation Council (upper house) Sergei Mironov believes that the structure of foreign investments channelled to Russia needs to be overhauled. He said this Wednesday at a session of legislators' council of the Russian upper house devoted to the legal framework of investment processes to the economy of the regions.

    "It is well known that the so-called portfolio, or short-term investments are dominating today," he said.

    According to the speaker, investments should not only go to the raw material sector, but to industry as well," and to all sectors of our economy and industry which offer opportunities to use high technologies, he said.

    Mironov emphasised for instance that Russia had practically no machine-building enterprises with foreign capital.

    Besides, Sergei Mironov touched upon the limited opportunities of the Russian banking system, which in essence restricts sources of domestic investment. "So long as Russian banks can offer chiefly short-term loans, Russian businessmen have no chance of getting long-term loans which are the financial basis of enterprises' development all over the world," said Mironov.

    "I also believe that the role of the state in the investment process should be increased - it is obviously insufficient today," concluded Mironov.

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