“Russian Davos” hosts 12,000 business leaders in St Petersburg [Video]


June 2, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

Vesti – translated by Inessa Sinchougova 

The Economic forum in St. Petersburg has not proceeded without loud statements. The forum, which is also known as the ‘Russian Davos’, is hosting 12 thousand people from around the globe. In particular, the heads of hundreds of major international and Russian companies, as well as members of governments of 26 countries, including Russia. What will happen to inflation if interest rates on loans decline; has Russia really lost the Ukraine gas dispute, and who on earth is investing billions of dollars into the apparently ‘isolated’ Russia?

Video can be found here by clicking on the “play” button, with a short transcript below. 

“Glad to be in Russia”, sats the head of Boeing International, Bertrand-Marc Allen. The US corporation in St. Petersburg has signed agreement after agreement. The delegation of the United States is one of the largest and most represented here at the forum. US leaders were afraid to come in past years, fearing the Obama administration , who only sent deputies.

Patrick Pouyanne, head of global energy giant, French company Total – very poetically describes why he is always and in spite of everything – in St. Petersburg.

– You’re here again?

– Oh sure!

– And you were here last year!

– And the next year I will be here. We have already invested $10 billion in the Yamal project. We want to build bridges, not to foment war. It turns out that I am a bridge between France and Russia.

And there are thousands of these bridges now in St. Petersburg. “I have a feeling that there are more people here who speak German rather than Russian. I think everybody here understands that we need pragmatic cooperation between Russia and the EU.” – says Péter Szijjártó, , Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary.

Igor Shuvalov, First Deputy Prime Minister, interviews on the run:

– Indeed, an interesting forum, I expect serious discussions.

– Does it demonstrate that ‘isolation’ has been unsuccessful?

– Isolate Russia? Impossible. 

“Where are they to go – of course, they will come to Russia, because we are all evolving. As someone who has lived in the West for more than 20 years, I can say that, unfortunately, the situation there is much worse,” – said Gennady Timchenko, the owner of the Volga Group.

For foreigners, it is important to know the state of the Russian economy. And they note – that everything that is predicted at the forum, is then executed. This is confirmed by the Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Elvira Nabiullina.

A year ago here, you said that inflation will be 4 percent. And then it seemed unreal. Can interest rates be 5-6 percent?

– Following the decline of inflation, will be the decline in rates. It will not happen immediately, but it will happen. And you can see that trend already. In our opinion, when inflation is firmly fixed at 4 percent, the key rate will be about 6.5 – 7 percent, and the rate borrowers will depend on the quality of the borrower, the loan type. 

Elvira Nabiullina is in a hurry – she is about to have a public fight with business magnate Oleg Deripaska. The head of “Rusal” in previous years even proposed to “send the entire leadership to space.” And the reason – interest rates.

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– We argue because Oleg Vladimirovich believes that we must reduce rates faster, even while inflation is growing!

– I’m not saying that inflation is growing.

– If you are not saying it, then we have nothing to argue over!

Alexei Kudrin, Chairman of the Center for Strategic Research Council, Deputy Chairman of the Economic Council under the President of the Russian Federation believes that the entire oil sector should be privatized in the coming 7-8 years.

“There’s no need for public oil companies today. The state status is likely to bring more harm to these companies than a positive effect”– he said

Alexei Miller in an interview to “Vesti” made a statement on Ukraine’s “Naftogaz” that supposedly the Stockholm arbitration process sided with the Ukrainian company, in its dispute with “Gazprom”.

– What has been the result of the claims of Naftogaz?

– There is no final decision of the Stockholm arbitration. And now it is the intermediate stage of the arbitration process.

It is also clearly not the last word that will be spoken in regard to domestic political opposition in Moldova. Forum guest and Moldovan President Dodon said in an interview to “Vesti”, that the actions of the Moldovan government to expel Russian diplomats were nothing but a provocation. 

A partnership with Russia can not be avoided – it is the largest economy in the region. “The good news, according to the index of the World Bank, Russia has improved its performance dramatically. In 2012, it was 120th best country in which to do business, and last year it was in 40th place.”, – says the executive director of the World Bank, Kristalina Georgieva. 

“If only colleagues from the World Bank held a more objective attitude to business processes in Russia, we would not be in 40th place, but, perhaps, in the top 20”, – said Russian Finance Minister, Anton Siluanov. “We hear that from every country!” – replied Georgieva.

“We have strong Russian trade relations, investment relations and they will stay strong, no matter what happens.” – said Stormy-Annika Mildner, Federal Republic of Germany in the B20.

You’ll continue to invest in Russia?”– Jean-Pascal Tricoire, General Director of Schneider Electric is asked. “We never stopped, so we’ll just continue to do what did before”, – he says.

The world-famous “Procter & Gamble” company continues to cooperate with the Tula region, signing a new contract. “They are taking this step quite consciously” – said the governor of the Tula region, Alexei Dyumin. “We are involved in the Russian market, we are growing in the Russian market. These investments will contribute to our continued growth”, – said a representative of the company, Garri Kumb.

“RosselkhozBank” has entered into an agreement with a bank in Harbin, attracting new investments. “This is one of the largest banks in China which is actively developing cross-border trade in the region, close to the Russian Federation. I think that the signing of this agreement will encourage investment from the Republic of China”, – says Dmitry Patrushev, Chairman of the Board of JSC Rosselkhozbank.

“Russia is an open country. We invite everybody to cooperate Russia. A reliable partner is a Russian partner, who respects those with whom we interact, strive for equality, respect and trust,” – said the deputy chairman of the State Duma, Irina Yarovaya.

Russian regions invite tourists to take part in various activities – Yaroslavl has launched an archaeological diving project. “Rybinsk Reservoir” was a man-made, reservoir which flooded a mass amount of villages and monuments. Divers and instructors have been prepared, who will be able to, first of all, ensure a safe dive and talk about the architectural monuments that are under water, – says the governor of the Yaroslavl region, Dmitry Mironov.

‘Maximum deep dives’ into the nuances of the Russian economy and politics in St. Petersburg continue on June 2, the key day of the forum. To come is a speech from President Putin, a discussion, and usually major signed contracts follow suit. The St. Petersburg forum always amazes with agreements – they amount, as a rule, to hundreds of billions.

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