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Putin Attempts to Ease Investor Jitters

Published: May 28, 2014 (Issue # 1813)



  • President Putin addresses a plenary session at the economic forum on May 23.
    Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev / AP

President Vladimir Putin attempted to reassure global business leaders jittery over the U.S.-led sanctions campaign against Russia to stay in the country as he met with them at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on May 23.

Think of the benefits of working in Russia, dont give in to pressure and blackmail, and we will help you, Putin said at the 18th annual gathering, which saw a severely diminished showing by U.S. executives. Many of them ducked the forum at the request of Barack Obamas administration, which is intent on punishing the Kremlin for its alleged meddling in the Ukraine conflict.

Putin, acknowledging that Russias economic growth can no longer be driven by energy exports, outlined his strategy for the structural reform of the economy on May 23, focusing on massive infrastructure projects, the enhancement of human capital and financial and regulatory support of business by the state.

Lambasting the West, and primarily the United States, for disrespecting Russias interests and snubbing Moscows attempts to engage in a dialogue was another leitmotiv of Putins 40-minute speech and the hour-long question and answer session that followed it.

Putin also downplayed the effect of the economic sanctions on Russias economy, saying they mainly target his personal friends, and these had been shrewd enough businessmen to transfer their assets home in good time.

Reform Roadmap

The Kremlins plan to revive the Russian economy, as presented by Putin on May 23, sees non-energy exports growing by 6 percent each year, substituting imported goods with domestic products, stimulating investment into modernization projects, improving professional education and easing labor market mobility.

I will also send to parliament a package of bills aiming to ease procedures for registration of companies, getting licenses, customs procedures all initially expected to pass in 2018 by the end of this year, Putin said.

He added that he will push for the dissemination of best practices accumulated by Russian regions in dealing with investors in other regions. On May 23, the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, an official innovation institute, released Russias first regional investment rating, based on accounts of investors. Kaluga region, Ulyanovsk region, Krasnoyarsk region and the Republic of Tatarstan topped the list of most investor-friendly regions.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 1


The St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum 2014 kicks off today at Lenexpo, where it will be presenting the latest and greatest ideas until Oct. 3. Focusing on economic development and the decisions and measures necessary to encourage development in Russias most important industries, the event is a possibility to discuss the innovations currently available in a variety of fields.


Representatives of the Russian and international media industries arrive in St. Petersburg for the first ever International Media Forum being hosted by the city until Oct. 10. With a variety of events on tap, including workshops, lectures and film screenings, the event plans to reemphasize the citys reputation as the countrys culture capital and as an emerging market and location for the visual arts.



Thursday, Oct. 2


The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov continues with todays free exhibition in the citys Lermontov Library at 19 Liteiny Prospekt. Titled Under the Rustling Wings, the temporary exhibition will feature the costumes and scenery used in the 1917 production of Lermontovs play The Masquerade, which he wrote in 1835 when he was only 21 years old.



Friday, Oct. 3


Learn more about how to manage and evaluate employee performance during SPIBAs Human Resources Committee meeting this morning on Employee Assessment: Global and Local Trends. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the discussion will touch on such topics as the partnership between HR and business, reliable assessment strategies and more, with Tatiana Andrianova, the head of the SHL Russia and CIS branch in St. Petersburg, as the featured guest. Confirm your participation by Oct. 2 by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.


AmChams Procurement Committee Meeting is at 9 a.m. this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.



Saturday, Oct. 4


Wine and cheese lovers will get their chance to revel during Scandinavia Country Club and Spas Wine Market Weekend. Going on today and tomorrow, wining diners can listen to live music, take part in culinary classes and, of course, sample a variety of fine wines from around the world. The cost of admission is 400 rubles ($10.30) for adults and 200 rubles ($5.15) for children.



Sunday, Oct. 5


Look for the latest fall fashions at the Autumn Market today in Freedom Anticafe at 7 Kazanskaya Ulitsa. The minimarket plans to offer clothes more flattering than the puffy jackets that are a staple of the citys cold-weather fashion, while offering the same amount of protection from the biting winds blowing off of the Baltic.



Monday, Oct. 6


SKA St. Petersburg, the citys KHL affiliate, welcomes Slovakian club HC Slovan in a match-up tonight at the Ice Palace near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased on the clubs website or in person at either the arenas box office or the clubs merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Oct. 7


Learn more about Russias energy industry at the St. Petersburg Energy Forum that begins today and runs through Oct. 10. Attracting industry experts and political and business representatives, the forum plans to welcome more than 350 plus companies and their representatives to discuss the future of Russias largest economic sector.



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