Interview with Dr Klaus Schwab

Dr. Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum Founder, gave Russia Today his view on the Economic Forum in St Petersburg.   

Russia Today: Do you feel that the Economic Forum in St Petersburg has the same influence as the World Economic Forum does?

Dr. Klaus Schwab: This meeting that happens now for the 11th time will have a great future. Actually when the World Economic Forum holds its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, we do not talk about Switzerland, as we talk about global affairs. But here in St Petersburg Russia is very much a centre of interest and will remain the centre of interest.

RT: We have seen a number of key deals being signed across the day. How will the Russian companies will continue to grow on the international stage?

K.S.: What we see is not only from the political point of view sets an economic power shifting to a certain extent from West to East, but we also see many new players in the world, companies that have become true multinationals  and companies in Russia which are at the stage of becoming multinationals. What we have to do is to create a field of competition in the world, where those companies are welcomed and not rejected, because the appearance of new players re-changes considerably the power equation in the industrial and business world.

RT: What sort of questions do you think President Putin will hear at his closed session during the forum?

K.S.: I think there are going to be questions in three main areas. First, the business leaders are very much interested to see what the future of reforms in Russia is. Second, the role which Russia is playing in global affairs as a major producer and exporter of energy, and finally, it will be about the relations between Europe and Russia, because we speak a lot about Eurasia at this meeting which means after all a combination of the traditional Europe and Asia.

RT: What sort of issues do you feel that foreign companies are concerned about when it comes to investing in Russia?

K.S.: I think business is always built on predictability. If you want to have a good investment climate it needs predictability. Here the participants are very impressed with the macro-political environment which is very stable in Russia. But they want to hear more about such issues as corruption, the rule of law in general etc., and I