The session participants discussed import substitution, the legal framework, investment cooperation and development in the pharmaceutical, construction, agricultural and food sectors, in retail trade and mineral resources, and in the electricity and energy efficiency markets.
From Dmitry Medvedev’s opening remarks:
I’d like to honour the memory of Christophe de Margerie. He was an active member of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council who did much to promote Russian-French business and cultural ties. With his death, our country has lost not only a good friend, but also a reliable partner, one who held honest economic cooperation higher than any form of politics.
The Council meets once a year in autumn to hold open discussions on current issues, all of which are concerned with the economy, namely doing business in Russia, new projects or similar matters. We also hold bilateral meetings with members of the Russian Government and business partners.
The number of Council members keeps growing. This year we welcomed in Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber and Mr Sunny George Verghese, the Managing Director and CEO of Olam International Limited from Singapore. Now we have a more representative Council, including members from the Asia Pacific.
The Eurasian Economic Union, which was launched on 1 January 2015, has created additional opportunities. Your companies can expand their businesses in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. The new integration association, the EAEU, has signed the first free trade agreement with Vietnam. Overall, over 40 countries have expressed their interest in cooperation with the EAEU, and talks are underway with them to create various cooperation platforms, including free trade areas.
The accrued direct investment from the countries that are represented on the Foreign Investment Advisory Council has been growing even despite the current difficulties, and has almost reached $130 billion. This is evidence of these companies’ interest in strengthening their positions in our market.
The Council members’ recommendations help us improve the business environment in the country. Many interesting ideas were formulated right in this hall, during our discussions.
Economic revival is a key priority of the Russian Government. But economic growth cannot be sustainable without improving the investment climate and relations with foreign business partners.
As in the past, we will discuss a variety of issues, including the current situation and measures to improve Russia’s investment attractiveness for other jurisdictions. This is fully in keeping with our objectives.