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21 Oct, 2009 12:20

Medvedev reminds business of its responsibilities

The Russian economy needs a modernization strategy to stop relying on raw materials to pull the country out of the current financial crisis, Dmitry Medvedev stated, speaking at a meeting with Russian business leaders.

Russia’s big business should take the most active part in shaping the general strategy to pull Russia out of the economic crisis.

The President warned that the current raw-material oriented economy simply cannot last for long because “we either change or the next crisis will bury many of the companies represented here now," he said.

At the same time he stressed that those companies present at the meeting have generally passed the crisis test which means that the government anti-crisis program really worked and saved many of them.

Russian business must make greater investments within the country, stressed President.

“Russian society has the right to expect you to be active in the domestic market," the president said. "Most of the capital earned in Russia ought to stay at home."

Kirill Dmitriev, President of Icon Private Equity said that in the past, Russian business was actively investing overseas. “Now it’s a very critical time when capital is also needed in Russia. New work places have to be created here. So I think the president expects Russian business to think how we can be more productive…and how business can partner with the government to make progress and achieve good results,” Dmitriev told RT.

Speaking about finance, Medvedev could not but mention the current situation with the Russian banking system.

“We need an independent and developed banking system which cannot be limited by state-owned banks, even considering the importance of their role during the last [crisis] year.

Once again, Dmitry Medvedev crucified corruption and reminded businessmen that “it is their civic duty to report on all cases of blackmailing offenses directly to the prosecutor’s office, Ministry of Internal Affairs or FSB.”

The Russian President denounced the Chinese model of economy. “China’s experience is very interesting and nice, but this is not our way.” Medvedev reminded businessmen of a “different mentality”, particularly in questions of personal “responsibility of administrative officials and business.”

Dmitry Medvedev promised that his future address to the Federal Assembly will be to a large extent dedicated to diversification of economy and introduction of advanced, modern and innovative technology – including mining and extraction operations, since the Russian state is the owner of mineral resources.

Medvedev also promised that, despite a delay, Russia will enter the WTO, which will mean that Russian companies have to compete with the most technically-advanced companies in the world.

Overall 33 top managers were invited to Kremlin for an annual meeting with the President, including heads of the leading Russian companies Rosneft, Gazprom, Lukoil, Basic Element, AFK System, Renova and Russian Railways. Part of the meeting was conducted behind closed doors.