19 September 2010, 12:18

Foreign investors eye Russian regions

Foreign investors eye Russian regions
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During last week's 9th International Investment Forum in Sochi, this country's leading businessmen  signed a sheaf of  previously-agreed contracts, sending foreign investors a clear signal that, despite the risks inherent in the ongoing global crisis, they have every reason to pursue their business activities in Russia.

During last week's 9th International Investment Forum in Sochi, this country's leading businessmen  signed a sheaf of  previously-agreed contracts, sending foreign investors a clear signal that, despite the risks inherent in the ongoing global crisis, they have every reason to pursue their business activities in Russia.

Nearly 200 investment cooperation accords worth around 300 billion rubles were inked by regional business executives during the two-day meeting - about as much as the government lined up for the crisis-hit economic majors and banks last year.  Most of the deals signed in Sochi to sink investor money into this country's  industrial, energy, construction sectors,  the green and smart technologies are for the long haul. Meaning that Big Business prioritizes long-term cooperation. As to foreign money, it will go primarily to Russia's  economically advanced Southern, Central and Volga regions, just like it did after the previous such meetings in Sochi.  Regional Development Minister Viktor Basargin said that, like before,  the government was ready to prop up medium-sized companies offering attractive business projects to potential investors abroad.

We agreed that, besides helping economic powerhouses, we should also have in mind regions which, though less economically developed,  still offer growth-minded projects, Basargin said.

Last week's forum was the first since the global crisis hit us all two years ago. The Russian economy managed to quickly rebound and start growing again, by more than 4 percent this year alone. Foreign investors were apparently impressed by what Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told them, including an invitation to reputed American and  European lenders to acquire stakes in Russian banks.

Only large-scale private investments will make it possible to resolve strategic tasks of upgrading the national economy.No state intervention or money infusions are able to replace hard, everyday work done by private businesses, which are changing the nature of our economy and put it on track to innovation... We already have hundreds and even thousands of projects worth tens of billions of dollars  implemented here each year, Putin added.

Narrator:  When business executives and politicians gather in Sochi again next year, some of them mayl already have invested their money in new enterprises in Russia geared for the domestic and foreign markets.

 

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