‘Western sanctions have helped Russian economy; Asians are everywhere’ – Jim Rogers
The sanctions regime has given a big boost to the Russian economy, especially in agriculture. It is a very, very strong growth industry right now. It pushed the Russians together with the Asians, investor and financial commentator Jim Rogers told RT.
Investors worth around $11 trillion have assembled at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to discuss the prospects for the world economy, as well as hoping to make some lucrative deals on the side.
RT: Many financial analysts say the resilience of the Russian economy is making it more attractive to investors. Can Russia expect an increase in foreign investment after it nosedived in recent years?
Jim Rogers: Absolutely. Russia was hated three years ago. Nobody was putting any money here. Well, I was, but most people weren’t. It’s got to get better and it is getting better, because Russia is getting better.
RT: To what extent have Western sanctions harmed Russia's economy from your point of view, and what will it take for them to be lifted?
JR: In many ways the sanctions against Russia have helped Russia. It has made Russia an agricultural boom. It is a very, very strong growth industry right now. It pushed the Russians together with the Asians. When you come to Moscow or St. Petersburg airport now the Chinese are everywhere; Asians are everywhere. This is actually helping Russia in some ways, and it certainly is not helping America. We’re not getting anything out of it.
RT: You’ve said at the forum you see countries moving eastwards to Asia. Is that accurate, do you think?
JR: Absolutely. I live in Asia now. One of the reasons I live in Asia is because of what’s happening there. There is no question that Asia is the place to be. That is where the money is; that is where the population is; that is where the energy is. Teach your children Chinese.
RT: What is it about the International Economic Forum, the annual event in St. Petersburg? Roughly $11 trillion in capital here with all the big people in attendance. Any specific outcomes or expectations this year?
JR: Whenever I come here, I always keep my eyes and the ears open to see if I find some opportunities. So far I have not. I continue to invest in Russian. I bought more Russian shares this week, and bought Russia bonds last week. So far for me I haven’t found anything, but I am sure that things are here. And as far as $11 trillion – I only have a couple of hundred dollars – not a couple of hundred trillions [laughs.]
RT: These sorts of events are often branded as “all talk but little action.” Is it so?
JR: I am sure that some people are going to find opportunities and meet people and make deals here. So far I haven’t. But I am mainly an investor in markets, stocks and bonds, and commodites. So it is unlikely I will find much here. But I see people meeting all day and all night. You cannot believe how late people are out talking about things. Something is happening here.
RT: I want to bring us back to the issue of Russia and China buying gold. In December 2016 an official of Deutsche Bank admitted there was a gold fix. If there is indeed a manipulation of gold going on around the world. When do you think it might come to a stop and what effect could that have?
JR: I have some gold. I’ve got some gold here in my pocket. I even bought some of the Soviet gold yesterday. I am not buying any more in any significant way right now, but I do read that the Russians and the Chinese are buying more gold. Gold is going to go up a lot before this is over. We’re going to have chaos in the markets in the next few years and gold will skyrocket. I am not buying it now – I expect it go down first. If it goes down, I hope I am smart enough to buy a lot more gold, because before it is over the Chinese and the Russians are going to be in a very good position with all their gold.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.