Russian leader discusses investment issues

Kremlin.ru, 21.06.2013

"Meeting with Russian Direct Investment Fund experts and heads of infrastructure funds 20 June 2013, 2300, St Petersburg" in English by Russian presidential website on 21 June
Vladimir Putin met with members of the Russian Direct Investment Fund international expert council and heads of major infrastructure funds.
The meeting addressed investment into the Russian economy, including in infrastructure projects.

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PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good evening,
I am very pleased to have another meeting with you. I use the word "another" because our meetings have grown regular. I would like to note that we very much value our contacts with businesspeople and representatives from the largest infrastructure investment funds.
In 2012, the total volume of contributions by direct investment funds in Russia doubled to reach 10bn dollars, with half of these funds coming from the Russian Direct Investment Fund and its co-investors.
I also want to point out the contributions into Russia's economy by companies that are global infrastructure leaders. They bring more than just investments; they also bring technology, experience and expertise. I am referring to the Russian Direct Investment Fund's partners from China, Korea, Kuwait, Japan, India, Germany and France.
We intend to consistently develop public-private partnership mechanisms that are appealing to businesses, including for implementing infrastructure projects.
I want to assure you there will be more and more such projects every year; Russia has much to offer. I will add that we made a fundamental decision to invest significant resources from our reserves, from the National Welfare Fund and to attract pension savings into infrastructure projects that pay. This form of co-financing will certainly be interesting for our strategic investors.
Naturally, many aspects of our cooperation still need to be adjusted and improved, but most importantly, the projects we are proposing are predictable and sound. I hope that they will be advantageous and promising - many of our partners have already ascertained this for themselves.
I think it's important that investors are growing more interested in cooperating with the Russian Direct Investment Fund. We have created joint investment funds with many foreign partners and we have introduced an automatic co-investment mechanism.
An investment fund has been created jointly with the Chinese Investment Corporation, with up to 4bn dollars in capital. Kuwait's investment fund became the first participant in the co-investment mechanism.
After meeting with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan last autumn, we decided to create an investment fund worth 2bn dollars between the UAE Sovereign Wealth Fund and the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
This is the first significant success in Russia's investment cooperation with the United Arab Emirates. It is very important that one of the sectors the fund is keen to invest in is Russia's infrastructure. I would also like to discuss other ideas, projects and initiatives with you.
In conclusion, I will stress again that our nation is a responsible and reliable partner. Ladies and gentlemen, we expect you will appreciate the appeal of investing in the Russian economy. Use your intrinsic business acumen and energy to start joint work. For my part, I am ready to support you in every way and render all-around assistance.
Thank you for your attention.
I would like to invite the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund to also say a few words, and then we can have a free, relaxed discussion about our current affairs.

RUSSIAN DIRECT INVESTMENT FUND CEO KIRILL DMITRIYEV: Mr President, partners, colleagues,
We are grateful for the opportunity to meet with you today and discuss investing in Russia, including in infrastructure projects.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund, created with your support, Mr President, has real-world examples to demonstrate capital providers' interest in investing in Russia. Just in one year since our last meeting, we have invested in the financial sector, power industry, private healthcare, film distribution, timber processing, the IT sector and agricultural accessory production.
The fund is now actively focusing on the regions that historically do not work much, investing instead in the Russian Federation. And today, indeed, marks a very significant event for us: we are launching our first Russian-Arab fund.
The work on it is under way as a follow-up to your meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed, Mr President. The head of that fund is here today. The fund has very strong expertise in investing specifically in infrastructure projects, and some of the money will be directed using the co-investment model, while another part will be directed, using the automatic co-investment model, into all the Russian Direct Investment Fund's projects.
We have also seen significant interest on the part of strategic investors. Tomorrow, we are signing an agreement with General Electric on investments in production of generating systems. Recently, we also signed an agreement on investing in Russia's tire industry with one of the main strategic investors, and this agreement will allow us to increase the sector's competitiveness and bolster tire exports from Russia.
This meeting has brought together many leading infrastructure investors from around the world. We will work actively with them to promote investments in Russia's infrastructure. They positively assess the opportunities to invest in profitable projects and the steps being taken by the Russian government to make the initially unprofitable infrastructure projects profitable and interesting for foreign investors through state support measures, investments, and secure means from the National Welfare Fund.
Together with the investors present here, we are looking into projects with Russian Railways, petrochemical companies, road construction enterprises, and network and telecommunications firms. And I am confident that we will have a very interesting discussion today on the topic of infrastructure.
We also plan to launch a joint fund with the Macquarie company, one of the world's leading infrastructure investors. So I am confident that we will have a very interesting discussion today with some very interesting practical examples of further investments into Russia. Thank you.