Meeting of the Government Commission on Monitoring Foreign Investment

Dmitry Medvedev: The Commission was established 10 years ago. Since then, it has reviewed 229 investment proposals. Over the past three years alone the Russian economy has attracted over $16 billion through deals approved by the Commission.

Excerpts from Dmitry Medvedev’s opening remarks:

Meeting of the Government Commission on Monitoring Foreign Investment

The Commission was established 10 years ago with the adoption of a federal law to this effect. Since then, it has reviewed 229 investment proposals and approved most of them. About five percent of the applications were turned down.

Over the past three years alone the Russian economy attracted more than $16 billion through deals approved by the Commission. To some extent, this is attributable to our efforts to improve laws on foreign investment monitoring. We were guided by the domestic experience in this area as well as the best global practices and the overall environment. Specifically, some contracts can be approved automatically by filing a notification. We also specified the list of strategic activities and streamlined controls.

While opening up specific sectors of the Russian economy to foreign investors, we were extremely cautious and followed a balanced approach. We will act in the same manner moving forward. There are projects in sensitive areas related to public interests and affecting public health and safety in one way or another, which means that they should be subject to constant and effective monitoring.

Despite the challenges in the global economy, and despite the political environment and the pressure our country is facing, foreign investors are as eager as ever to invest in Russia’s strategic companies. Companies from Europe, the Arab world and Asia-Pacific have shown interest. Of course, more often than not business people are more perceptive and farsighted compared to politicians from other countries.

Today, we will review applications for carrying out transactions with strategic assets in various industries: transport engineering, power generation and many others. Make no mistake, despite the current environment we are still open to cooperation with those who are ready to promote their projects in our country. For us, this is a long-term strategy.

The logic behind this is straightforward: steady economic growth requires major investment, new competitive production facilities and breakthrough technology, including those developed as part of import substitution. To deliver on this vision, we need highly skilled specialists, professional managers and in some cases foreign technology. This is why we are striving to make sure that investors can operate in a stable macroeconomic environment, which we have been quite good at over the past few years. In fact, the economy is growing once again, the inflation is low, tax rates stable and so is the banking sector. Promoting the Eurasian integration project gives us a number of advantages that are relatively new.

We will keep up our efforts to improve the business climate, streamline oversight and cut red tape by introducing online services and a number of other improvements to assist businesses.