26 January 2013, 16:01

Investors pledge to come to Russia

Investors pledge to come to Russia

Russia is open for foreign investments. This was the purpose of the mission of the Russian delegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos and it deservedly fulfilled it.

Russia’s presence at the forum in Davos was appreciable. The Alpine skiing resort has not had so many banners with foreign names for a long time, including the Russia House that was opened during the forum and where meetings and presentations were held, as well as the large media centre that covered the country’s presence at the forum. Moreover, it had a large Moscow delegation that consisted of politicians, businessmen and even musicians. The impressive delegation did its best to convince foreigners to invest money in the promising Russian economy. These prospects were reinforced by facts and figures which were presented during Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s address to the forum.

“In the past years, the growth was mostly assured by an increase in the production of consumer goods and services rather than proceedings from oil and gas sale. In the future, our policy should lead to significant increase in the export of foodstuffs (since Russia is one of the potentially largest agrarian countries in the world) and of intellectual services by taking into account the fact that we are a well-educated country. Most importantly, the source of growth was not only an increase in the internal consumption but also investment which was almost 8%. We are interested in the flow of large-scale foreign investments,” Dmitry Medvedev said.

The other figures show that the attitude of Western businessmen towards Russia’s investment climate has significantly improved compared to that of 2007. Six years ago, only 7-8% foreign companies said it was good, but at present, this figure has increased up to 35-37%. There is no sign of fall in investments in the Russian economy, says Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

“The accumulated direct investments have never fallen in any of the past years. We want to achieve a much higher growth than that we have now. All companies including the large ones have assured us they had planned to make big investments in the coming two years,” Arkady Dvorkovich said.

The majority of Western businessmen who have been working in Russia more than a year are not planning to leave the country because they are really getting good profits from working on this market. However, they complained about difficulties they had to come across. But they can be overcome, says Russian businessman, president of the Skolkovo fund, Victor Vekselberg.

“We must clearly say that risks in Russia remain high, but we all want to realize whether we are ready to accept that the price of oil might fall,” Victor Vekselberg said.

Nevertheless, what was the outcome of the forum in Davos? Could we manage to convince foreign businessmen in Davos? We will be able to answer these questions only after some time.

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