29 Oct 2004 12:41

Interfax and Chatham House organize major conference entitled «Investing in Russia‘s future: new markets and opportunities№.

Interfax Information Services Group and the British Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) organized a conference that was held in Moscow on October 27-28 and was entitled "Investing in Russia‘s Future: New Markets and Opportunities."

The forum brought together about 200 delegates, including senior Russian officials, regional governors and deputy governors, representatives of the Russian and foreign investor communities, and heads of leading Russian companies.
"Active foreign investment is a key condition for the growth of the national economy," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a message to the conference organizers and participants. "It is crucial to the modernization of industry and the agrarian sector and to the development of the transport infrastructure."
"It is important," Putin said, "to stimulate capital investment not only in what are traditionally attractive sectors of the fuel and energy complex but also in construction, new technologies, telecommunications, and consumer services."
The president expressed hope that "the conference will make a practical contribution to the fulfillment of those urgent tasks."
The speakers at the conference included Russian Cabinet and Kremlin figures, such as Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov, presidential aides Igor Shuvalov and Andrei Illarionov, Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref, and Information Technology and Communications Minister Leonid Reiman.
The forum also heard Shell representative in Russia John Barry, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Jean Lemierre, and many other outstanding political and business figures.
The conference analyzed the current economic climate in Russia, looked at inflation forecasts, tax reforms, reforms of natural monopolies, aspects of privatization, ways of stimulating investment, issues of anti-monopoly regulation, and prospects for the stock, insurance and consumer markets.
There were separate debates on problems of Russia‘s accession to the World Trade Organization and Russian state policy on information technology, communications, and mineral resources.
Other issues raised at the conference were Russian government reforms, effects of the last Russian Duma and presidential elections and the degree of dependence of the Russian economy on world oil prices.
Vneshtorgbank and Shell International company were the general sponsors of the conference. Sponsorship was also provided by Vnesheconombank, SUAL Holding, TNK-BP company, the International Finance Corporation, the United Financial Group (UFG) and KPMG company, a leading international provider of audit, tax and advisory services.
For more details about the conference see the "Itogi" section for http://conference.interfax.ru.