A videoconference meeting of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council in Russia focused on developing healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry, tax and customs legislation, trade, the consumer market and technical regulation, energy, natural resources and the environment, has taken place, the website of the Russian government reports.
As Mikhail Mishustin, Russia’s Prime Minister, noted, “We hope interest in the Russian market will only continue to grow. The government continues to work to enhance the investment appeal of Russia and to make foreign companies to feel comfortable and derive benefits from developing business in the country.”
“Like other countries, this year we have faced a new factor, the coronavirus,” he said. “To reduce its effects, we have adopted many decisions to support our people and the economy as a whole. As a result, we have passed through this difficult period — the first phase anyway — better than many other countries. According to the Ministry of Economic Development, Russia looked more attractive than many other countries, including Germany, Italy, France, Britain and Spain in terms of GDP dynamics in the second, the most difficult, quarter. In addition, despite a fairly substantial amount of direct and indirect support for the people, we managed to preserve macroeconomic stabilty. The inflation rate has been a bit over 3% since the start of this year. Economic recovery is taking place quicker than expected. As soon as next year, we expect to restore the GDP to a level of over 3% and keep inflation at about 4%.”
“Our confidence rests on the decisions that are part of our national plan of action until the end of the next year,” Mishustin pointed out. “One of them is the creation of a new instrument — agreements on protecting and encouraging investment. It sets forth tax terms for large investment projects and envisages special support measures. We also intend to continue implementing the business climate transformation road map. Its purpose is to remove regulatory restrictions for businesses. The regulatory policy is going through significant changes.”
As the Prime minister stressed, “We are finalizing an integrated plan for achieving the national development goals. This plan is expected to cover the next ten years. It will help us solve the tasks set by the national projects, the state programs and other strategic documents; it will make investment conditions more attractive, including through support for major private investment projects. It will help us improve the business climate and introduce new financial instruments.”
According to EY Global Chairman and CEO Carmine Di Sibio who spoke at the conference, “Russia’s strategic importance for foreign companies operating here is a key take-away from the study. 94% of FIAC companies and 92% of all respondents named Russia as one of their strategic markets. Russia’s regulatory environment has numerous strengths, but international companies think that the rules change too often. 50% of survey participants said that constant changes in regulation have an adverse impact on Russia’s investment attractiveness. Foreign investors identify labor relations and taxation as the best-developed areas of Russian legislation.”