Russian President Vladimir Putin during a speech at the plenary session “Time to act: joint efforts for stability and growth” in the framework of the XIX St. Petersburg international economic forum, 2015
Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS
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At the St. Petersburg international economic forum Vladimir Putin and officials want to give Western business a signal: time to return to Russia. One way to do this in terms of sanctions is to create local production
The agenda for foreigners
The main agenda of the St. Petersburg economic forum this year will be “directed outwards,” says RBC senior Federal official. According to the interlocutor of RBC, President Vladimir Putin would like to send foreign participants a signal: Russia’s been hard as a result of the external forces and the situation in the financial markets, but we survived and sooner or later we will begin the growth, and foreign business, who will be back now, will get more dividends, because do it before the others.
The source of RBC, close to the forum organizing Committee, confirms that the business agenda of the forum will be “thoroughly imbued with these thoughts”. On the one hand, order and formulated the idea of “let’s tell that we survived, that we have these opportunities,” no, ” he says. But if foreign partners on the forum will be to ask questions about the prospects of cooperation with Russia, they will receive “such a plan is the answer”, says the interlocutor of RBC. We will talk about the possibility of creating a business “with Russian registration” — production in Russia, said a source. This will allow Western companies to evade sanctions, he adds.
According to the interlocutor of RBC, at a recent meeting of the organizers of the forum with representatives of German business last, “said see with some excitement the arrival of Russia other partners that take up their places vacant after they left.” The message about the meeting on the strengthening of economic cooperation between Russia and Germany 21 April 2016 in Stuttgart is on the site of the forum. From the message on the website of SPIEF, it follows that the meeting was attended by the head of RDIF Kirill Dmitriev, assistant to the President Anton Kobyakov, Director General of Recongress” (the organizer of the SPIEF-2016) Alexander Stuglev. Full list of participants of the meeting from the Russian side the interlocutor of RBC refused to name.
Another RBC source in the organizing Committee of the forum said that among the Western businessmen now discusses the idea that now is the best time to return, since Russian assets cheaper. “Similar ideas have been voiced on the forum last year, so I’ll do this,” he said.
Forum 2016 will be held in St. Petersburg from 16 to 18 June. On 28 April, the participation in SPIEF confirmed about 3500 people, which is 30% higher than last year’s figure for the same period before the forum, said RBC representative of “Rockingness”. About 50% of the participants were foreigners, he said. Last year, SPIEF 2015 was attended by over 10 thousand people from more than 120 countries. The main motto of the forum this year: “On the threshold of a new economic reality.” On the forum’s website says that the event is held under the patronage of the President. SPIEF traditionally scheduled speech of President Vladimir Putin and plenary session with his participation.
The current forum is the third, passing in terms of sanctions against Russia. Last year Putin at the plenary session of the SPIEF said that Russia sanctions is responsible not closing the economy, and by extension of liberty, and stressed that Russia’s position is to “create the most available, predictable, enabling environment and opportunities for investors — to invest in Russia was profitable”. “I would like to thank all our partners who, despite the political problems, continue to work in Russia, to invest their capital and technology to create businesses and new jobs,” he said. But while Putin talked about improving business climate in the country, about the need to increase export potential of Russian companies, the Amnesty of capital returning to the country. Putin pointed out that Russian companies should occupy key positions in those industries and those markets that will determine the nature of the economy, the way of life of people in two or three decades”.
In the past year with representatives of the consultative Council on foreign investment, came to the forum also held a closed meeting, the first Vice-Premier Igor Shuvalov. About it RBC was told by one of the participants of the meeting. Then the officer explained the state’s position regarding the work of foreigners in Russia and answered the questions, how will affect the work of foreign companies in Russia is the restriction of foreigners on the market of public procurement, import substitution and “turn to the East”.
In a press-service of the Kremlin operational review was not able to provide.
The stars of the forum
Now the Russian authorities and the organizers of the forum are negotiating about participation in SPIEF-2016 businessman of the world level, told RBC three sources from the organizing Committee. “The challenge is to invite world-famous businessman-Evangelist,” says one of the interlocutors RBC in the organizing Committee.
It is not excluded that this year SPIEF will again be visited by the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alibaba Jack MA, who was the headliner of the forum in the past year, told RBC senior Federal official and two sources close to the organizing Committee of the forum. Two sources from the organizing Committee say that the invitation was also sent to the management of the company Uber.
The choice of these entrepreneurs, one of the interlocutors RBC explains that the program Committee of the forum “keeps track of all the trends that exist in the world related to technology, experts and other interesting topics”. In addition, both companies are present in Russia. Last year, Alibaba-owned online retailer AliExpress registered in Russia legal entity — LLC “Alibaba.ohms (RU). Uber operates in 10 cities of Russia. Until the end of 2016, the service plans to increase the number of cities of presence in Russia to 17, told RBC Vice-President of Uber’s Ryan graves.
All interlocutors RBC emphasize that while talks with management continue, and confirm on the part of potential participants is not obtained. One of them says that in late may, Jack MA needs to visit Astana, where on may 25-26 will host the Astana economic forum. On the forum’s website he is listed among the speakers. “Decisions on MA arrival in Russia yet”, — said the interlocutor of RBC. In the company of Alibaba and the Russian office of Uber said it has no information about the invitation of the first persons of the companies in Russia.