Russia must act in order to attract foreign investments

Russia must loosen limitations on ownership of the companies by
foreign citizens and must improve transparency in order to attract
more foreign investments, says a new report of the Organization on
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

OECD's report entitled Review of the investment policy - Russian Federation: progress and reform problems​ , examines Russia's successes in the field of attracting foreign investments during last three years. Notwithstanding the fact that there is some progress (Fiscal Code is clearer and new rules accelerated the process of customs procedures), the report says that Russia could do more for attracting foreign investors.

No doubts that there is the necessity of increasing foreign investments in Russia. Direct foreign investments in the countries make 28 USD dollars per person. In comparison with Czech Republic are 818 US dollars per person. According to EU Delegation in Russia, 27,5 % from direct investments into industry is targeted at food industry.

Nevertheless, lack of trust in the decisions of the court and corruption in state bodies undermines the trust of foreign investors towards Russian legal system. In this regard, Russia has to take more measures to protect private ownership, to fight with corruption and to simplify the procedure of controls and fulfillment of agreements.

OCED want Russia to set up equal rules, in order for foreign companies to be able to compete with Russian companies during privatization of companies, which belong to the state. Many investors are worried by the fact that the result of privatization, which is still going on, could be contested in the court, because Russian laws on privatization are not logical and are contradictory.

This is why the government has to clear up laws and the process of candidates selection for privatization of a company.

OECD also mentions that company management is improving in some fields; for instance government, decided to adopt International Standards on Financial Reporting, and this is very good. But it is still impossible to find out who is the real owner of the company.

In this regard, Russia must adopt a law on information disclosure, to toughen control over respect of the laws and set up rules for merging and purchasing companies.

About 70% of Russian investments are from European Union. Leading investors are Germany, USA, Cyprus, UK and France. 67.7 % of all foreign investors at the end of 2001 belong to these countries.

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