Meeting attendees included the heads of companies from Sweden, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Austria, France, Italy, Israel, the Netherlands, Lichtenstein, China, the United States of America, Spain, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Ireland, Greece, the Republic of Cyprus, Australia, Denmark and Luxembourg.
On behalf of Russia, the meeting was attended by First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, Adviser to the Russian President Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov, Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriyev and President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin.
* * *
Russian President Vladimir Putin: Good day, colleagues,
I am pleased to meet with you on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Colleagues, we realise that the risks associated with the pandemic persist, but the world, the national economies are gradually getting back to normal. Personal and business contacts are being resumed and opportunities are opening up again for launching promising projects or those that were, unfortunately, put on hold earlier, so that we can now carry out mutually beneficial initiatives. That is why I believe a direct talk like this is very important as it allows us to discuss the priority areas of cooperation, check on our plans for the future and talk about how to implement specific joint projects in our regions.
At today’s plenary meeting, I spoke in detail, as you may have seen, about the systemic efforts to boost the investment appeal of the Russian market. To achieve this, we have set out specific objectives and developed guidelines, so that, for example, as I have said earlier, it can be much more profitable, simpler and faster to build industrial facilities in Russia than in other competing countries, so that investors will choose our sites to carry out their business. All the more so as in the next few years we plan to substantially increase investment in the development of our transport, telecommunications and tourist infrastructures, as well as in projects in high technology, healthcare, urban development, and other fields that are vital to the quality of life. Russia offers great opportunities for private initiative and lucrative investment.
Let us talk today, in keeping with our tradition, about all these matters and exchange views without formalities on the issues that are important to you and your companies and that are generally seen by investors as the key to successful performance in Russia.
Of course, as usual I would like to hear your assessments. I am looking forward to receiving proposals from you regarding what tools and mechanisms need to be used additionally to promote and encourage business initiatives, given the current situation and the trends in the economy, technology, employment and the labour market that have gained momentum during the pandemic and are likely to be vital to businesses in the years to come.
Let us begin.