Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chairs meeting of the Government Commission on Monitoring Foreign Investment
28 december 2010
Vladimir Putin's introductory remarks:
In the past few months, many of those present here, myself included, have held a series of meetings with our foreign partners and representatives in the business community and with international investment funds. Despite the problems, our partners are still interested in large-scale projects in Russia. As I see it, "the problems" refer to the global financial and economic crisis. But our partners are willing to continue creating cooperation chains and technological/production alliances and to invest in the Russian economy.
Today, we will examine a number of these issues at a meeting of the Government Commission on Monitoring Foreign Investment. First of all, I would like to single out the purchase of Russian industrial group Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods by the international company PepsiCo. Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, a well-known group turning out dairy products and baby food, is also a leading soft-drink manufacturer.
The group's products are quite popular with Russian buyers. Forbes Magazine included the trademarks "House in a Village" and "Wonder Yogurt" among the top ten Russian brands in 2010.
This deal will allow our partners to gain a foothold in the Russian food market and to enter the CIS market.
I would like to note that the company is prepared to build up and expand Wimm-Bill-Dann's market presence. In the next five years, the company plans to invest over 30 billion roubles in production modernisation, R&D projects and new marketing approaches. This will create over a thousand jobs.
We realise that serious competition for investment and technology is unfolding in the modern post-crisis world. Surely, this race will be won by those creating the most comfortable conditions for investment, as well as honest and understandable rules without excessive bureaucratic barriers. It is also our task to create such an atmosphere.
We realise that we need direct foreign investment. And not just capital but so-called smart investment that requires a technology transfer and the creation of new quality jobs.
Russia is open to foreign investment. At the same time, investment in non-strategic sectors requires no coordination. As far as strategic sectors are concerned, the authorisation procedures will be simplified considerably, just like we had agreed. There are already plans to pass a number of amendments to the foreign investment law in 2011. These amendments will be used to simplify an investors' access to the food, medical and the banking sectors and to liberalise the control for using mineral resources.
This is only the first package of legislative initiatives making it possible to simplify the access of foreign investors to strategic sectors. The second package of amendments, drafted by the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, is currently being reviewed. I believe that Mr Artemyev, head of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, will tell us about these proposals today. I hope that the measures will enable Russia to attract direct foreign investment in the near future. Preliminary estimates show that Russia will receive about $40 billion worth of direct investment in 2010.
I suggest we get down to business.