Interview: Mutual investment benefits Russia, China, says Russian fund chief

XINHUA (???), 17.06.2011

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, June 17 (Xinhua) — Cooperation in promoting mutual investment between Russia and China will benefit both countries, said the chief of the newly-formed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) at the ongoing St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Both Russia and China would gain a lot through investment cooperation, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev told Xinhua on the sidelines of the annual forum in Russias second largest city.

“Cooperation in the sphere of investment will create jobs, promote new technologies, help Russia to modernize and assist China in moving further forward,” said the fund chief.

Dmitriev attaches great importance to the presence of Chinese President Hu Jintao at the St. Petersburg forum, where Hu is expected to facilitate and formalize investment cooperation between China and Russia.

“I believe the presence of President Hu will promote the 10-year-old conception of mutual investment between Russia and China,” Dmitriev said.

Thanks to a decade of consultation, especially during the last 12 months, the launch of investment cooperation between the two countries is getting ready, Dmitriev said.

The concept of such investment cooperation was first brought up by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at last years forum in St. Petersburg, and the Russian side has contacted and consulted with big investors from around the world, including China.

When potential Chinese investors had inquired whether Russia would limit foreign investment to only certain areas, they got a simple reply “No,” Dmitriev said.

“By answering simply No, we mean that foreign investors could invest in various areas including energy and raw materials,” said the fund chief.

“I believe that infrastructure would also interest us all, projects like port development and infrastructure development which will bring us fabulous investment returns. We have also studied the investment prospects in such areas as information technology and medicine.”

Earlier this year, the Russian side consulted such key Chinese investors as the Chinese Development Bank and the Chinese Investment Corporation, and both sides have worked hard to contribute to the formation of the investment cooperation mechanism between the two countries, according to Dmitriev.

“Its important for both sides to get to know about where each others interests lie and how to materialize each others interests in those areas, so as to promote further development.”

“Now with the formation of the investment cooperation mechanism, both countries can sit down to discuss which areas best present interests to which side,” Dmitriev added.

Dmitriev also disclosed that Russia is forming a special delegation which will travel to China later this year to brief potential Chinese investors on the investment opportunities and environment in Russia, the far eastern part of the country in particular.

“Most hopefully the delegation will go to China in July, at the latest before September,” he said.