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7 Feb, 2008 16:16

Foreign investment given green light to enter Russia

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs has launched a new council for international business interested in investing in the country. The council will give foreign businesses a way to promote their interests to the Russian government through

Russia's ongoing strong economic growth is attracting more investor interest than ever before, with more companies looking to get involved as much of the rest of the world looks a slowdown in the eye. But that doesn't mean that Russia's healthy investment climate is closed to improvement.

“Even though we've achieved a lot, obviously there are a lot of issues and the most important thing is to see that the Russian government recognises that these issues exist and they are taking efforts to eliminate them,” said Aleksandr Ivlev, an Ernst & Young partner based im Moscow.

To ensure these issues remain on the government's radar, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs has opened an international council on co-operation and investment.

Andrew Somers from Moscow’s American Chamber of Commerce believes that pro-investment laws will benefit Russian, American and European companies.

“The issues between American and Russian companies are becoming very similar. Not all, but in those issues that are similar, particularly strategic issues, we see this as a great opportunity to work together, bring our experts together, and facilitate the passage of pro-investment laws,” he adds.

International investor interest is expected to remain strong, with not only consumer demand in the spotlight, but also the rise of the rouble being an increasingly-key factor.

“When you invest in Russia you're not just receiving relatively high interest return, but you're also benefiting through the additional rouble appreciation. In other words, your assets in roubles are giving you additional value if calculated in dollars or any other currency.,” Natalya Orlova, the Chief Economist of Alfa-Bank underlines.

With a new presidential administration coming into place in the near future and recent comments about the need for Russia  to renew its focus on welcoming global investors, the new international council has come at the right time to maximise interest and access.