Russia 2012 forum highlights the need to separate government and economy


Mass privatization, power body reforms, creation of a competitive political system and the pardon of Mikhail Khodorkovsky – these are the steps that foreign investors are waiting for from the Russian ruling elite, as the annual “Russia 2012” economic forum showed.

The forum was organized by Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, and investment company Troika dialogue as a continuation of the Davos economic forum.

Troika Dialogue head, Ruben Vardanyan, described Russia’s three main challenges. “First of all, corruption. Secondly, the problem of government’s interference in the economy and the high level of monopolization. Thirdly, the political system has outdated itself,” Vardanyan said while opening of the forum on Thursday.

There is nothing new in these challenges – investors have been talking about them for the last ten years.

“The question is what measures should be taken, however, we dont have any specific conception of how to solve the problems or how to implement these measures,” the head of the Russian school of economics, Sergey Guriev, said.

The continuing disinvestment proves the fact that investors are not contented with promises only. “The capital outflaw equaled almost 5% [GDP], probably because the investors stopped believing in Russia’s determination to fight with corruption,” Guriev added.

As he said, the investors would like to hear about the pardon of Mikhail Khodorkovsky or the firing of government officials linked to Sergey Magnitsky’s death. Russia’s entry in the WTO will lead to more transparent policies, vice-president of IFC Tunell Lars said.

Mass privatization would also mean some development in this sphere, however it only exists in words.”

Russia’s former Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin also spoke at the forum.

According to Kudrin, the most important challenge for Russia is the liberalization of the political system, which started in December 2011 after mass anti-election fraud protests were held in Moscow.

Protest meeting show that the society is growing, and pushing for political competitiveness.

Even if the government sells its shares in companies, there are still fields in which it can have influence on businesses.

For example, Vladimir Putin demanded that VTB Bank give a 7mln credit to a nearly-bankrupt “Lanta Tour” tour company so that more than 2000 clients of this company would be able finish their holidays. Russia lives with a system which requires the interference of either the Prime-minister or the president to change something. He also added that the interference in businesses creates “a feeling of non-transparency, misunderstandings, and discontent.”

Kudrin suggested a plan for “how to save ourselves.” First of all, people in power should follow necessary strategic planning and priorities. Secondly, the government’s participation in the economy should be regulated through subsidies and facilities as usually they are given to “the favorites”.
Thirdly, there should be highly-qualified government officials and control over them. And fourth, the return to the rules of using gas resources in the economy.

According to Vardanyan, foreign businessmen prefer to invest in China rather than in Russia because “Russian realities are more unpredictable- one can drive ten times through a red light and he will not be punished at all, but one can drive through a green light, then have his car taken away and find himself in a hospital.” быстрые займы на карту unshaven girl https://zp-pdl.com https://www.zp-pdl.com займы на карту без отказа

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