This year, the SPIEF site has become a concentration zone of partners, satellite countries and friendly states that, despite sanctions, pressure from EU and NATO countries, support Russia and continue to develop the economy. of our country.
Photo: Julia PYKHALOVA
The topic of discussion among the experts was, among other things, the difficult topic of attracting investment in business development due to international oppression. Yes, our economy needs cash injections, but not from the state, but from private investors and, above all, from foreign investors who, despite the sanctions, continue to support their production in Russia, risking their reputation and assets.
A study by the Association of European Businesses (AEB) shows that 17% of European companies are willing to increase financing for their projects in Russia. 43% of respondents reported an increase in turnover, 48% of respondents expect the turnover of their business in Russia to increase in the next three years.
Attracting foreign investors both from partner countries and from countries with which rather changing relations should remain one of the areas of work of the Central Bank of Russia (CB), its president, Elvira Nabiullina, said in May.
“Perhaps it is not fashionable to say it now. However, the attraction of foreign investors must be one of the directions. Investors must be attracted from “friendly” countries, and also from “enemy” countries, if they are ready to invest in the Russian economy,” Elvira Nabiullina was quoted as saying by RBC.
According to her, we must try to maintain the integration of the Russian financial market into the global market as much as possible, although it has also changed. The Central Bank noted the emergence of the “blockade” not only in economic, but also financial matters, and this will affect domestic financial markets in many countries, the head of the Central Bank predicted.
BUSINESS NEEDS PROTECTION
The “great capital fencing” that the global economy is experiencing today sometimes takes very curious forms, noted Dmitry Adamidov, an independent analyst and author of the Angry Bonds telegram channel, in a comment to Expert. A couple of years ago it would have been hard to imagine that, for example, European investors would imitate the Chinese or Indian ones, working on the Russian market through their Asian subsidiaries or Asian partners.
But sanctions and a keen desire to withdraw stagnant capital are doing their job. This phenomenon, apparently, has become so big that even the Ministry of Finance paid attention to it. However, it is not just about the withdrawal of capital.
The Russian market is now largely isolated from the world market, and in the conditions of the impending storm it can no longer be considered a pariah, but a safe haven, albeit a bit swampy. Therefore, the analyst believes, the interest of foreign investors in Russia will continue, although it is unlikely to be comparable with the 2000s and 2010s.
They continue to do business in Russia, including representatives of countries whose leadership has significantly worsened bilateral relations with us. For example, France. Leroy Merlin and Auchan are operating normally.
However, like the French group of companies Sucden (a major sugar producer), AgroTerra (one of the 20 largest owners of agricultural land in Russia) and a large number of other lesser-known companies with a large amount of foreign investment .
Retaining foreign private investors and attracting new ones is becoming more difficult. Investors want to see not only the performance of their investments, but also, above all, the protection of their rights, assets and intellectual capital.
The difficult international situation is increasingly becoming a pretext for conflicts between shareholders or even to drive partners out of business under the pretext of excluding a hostile element.
“In order to attract investors and create conditions for entrepreneurs when they feel free and good in Russia, they must be guaranteed the protection of their rights,” said Evgeny Skigin, who invested millions of dollars in Russia’s largest company for the crop. and processing of hemp and other oilseeds, and is currently actively defending his rights as founder, owner and investor in a major corporate dispute, which has already affected the company’s productive activities and personnel policy.
The story of Evgeny Skigin is highly indicative in this regard. The businessman, having gained experience in the successful development of technical hemp in Australia and Europe, made a lot of efforts to revive this industry in Russia. He invested in breeding, staff training and the development of the industry as a whole. In just a few years, he turned his company into one of the leading hemp growers in Russia. Together with the Agroindustrial Association of Hemp Growers (APAK), he still supports the professional training of specialized specialists-agronomists, engineers and machine operators, however, now his company is mired in a business conflict. A key investor in the industry, under the banner of “hostility”, was removed from the company’s management, which greatly affected the company’s production and operational processes.
Of course, in this and many other detailed cases it is necessary to see the main thing behind any opportunistic statement: where and to whom the money goes. If they are going from a foreigner to Russia to create and operate a company, this is an advantage. If the same money flows into the pocket of a Russian partner, and production stops or goes bankrupt, this is inconvenient.
Of course, the state provides an opportunity to obtain objective information about the risks when investing, but the responsibility for making financial decisions rests entirely on the shoulders of the investor, and when a controversial business situation arises, as in the case of Evgeny Skigin and a partner, then one has to rely only on the openness and objectivity of justice.
The investor points out that the insecurity of businessmen is one of the key problems in our country. People invest their own money, use the world’s most advanced technologies and equipment, and can be deprived of business management using legal tricks. Although the state needs to protect the business that invests in the development of the economy with all its might. And it is not just about the investment protection and promotion law, which is based on a stabilization clause. Investors have the opportunity to implement investment projects based on state guarantees not to apply acts that may worsen their situation. But also on the effectiveness of the work of the institutions for the protection of the rights of employers. And this concerns the legal protection not only of foreign investors, but of investors in general. In the end, the meaning of the rule of law is not in the plurality and casuistry of interpretation of the rules, but in the capacity of the legal framework to adequately regulate and evaluate the performance of economic entities from the point of view of their good faith. .
COMMITTED TO SIMPLIFY ENTRY
In addition, the authorities understand that the country needs changes that will attract foreign investors to Russia. Thus, on June 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to simplify the entry into the country of foreign investors and highly qualified specialists. The instruction was given after the president’s meeting with members of the Business Russia organization on May 26.
As can be seen from the document, the Cabinet of Ministers must analyze the migration legislation of the Russian Federation before August 1 and identify the existing barriers to the entry, stay and work activity of said foreign citizens. After such an analysis, the government should introduce changes to the legislation that simplify the procedure for issuing visas and obtaining work permits.
Today is the time to reconsider the relationship with those non-residents whose enterprises and industries continue to operate in Russia, provide employment and actively participate in the implementation of the national plan for economic recovery.