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Favourable business climate needed to create int’l financial centre in Moscow

October 05, 2011, 9:38 UTC+3

Sharonov, who is in charge of economic issues, is taking part in an annual meeting of the U.S.-Russian Business Council

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CHICAGO, October 5 (Itar-Tass) — A special business climate and corresponding financial and physical infrastructure are needed to create an international financial centre in the Russian capital Moscow, deputy mayor of Moscow Andrei Sharonov told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

Sharonov, who is in charge of economic issues, is taking part in an annual meeting of the U.S.-Russian Business Council.

According to Sharonov, a favourable business climate means transparent rules, independent courts and a transparent law enforcement system. A specialized financial infrastructure, in his words, includes the organization of the work of stock exchanges, depository and other specialized institutions. “It applies also to business practises. They must be brought in line with world standards. The infrastructure of global financial centres has already been formed and we do not have to reinvent the wheel in this respect,” he said.

Dwelling on the physical infrastructure, Sharonov stressed that investors who come to Moscow “should find themselves in a comfortable and familiar atmosphere.” “It concerns the transport infrastructure, beginning from an airports and the road to a hotel, as well as the system of education and healthcare,” he said.

The deputy mayor noted that numerous experts already consider Moscow as one of the international financial centres. Thus, Moscow was ranked 62nd in the list of 75 international financial centres drafted by the London-based consulting company Z/Yen Group. Last year, Moscow was ranked 67th. “It means that de facto we are an international financial centre. Our task is to progress upwards in this list and boost our attractiveness,” he noted.

The issue of creating an international financial centre is on the agenda of both the federal and the Moscow city governments, he noted.

He also noted that the United States is not the biggest investor in the Moscow economy. “The United States comes after traditional Russian offshores – Cyprus and Holland, via which Russian investments come back to the country, and after other investors, such Germany. That is why we see it as our goal to win investments from the United States, the biggest ones in terms of volume,” Sharonov said.

According to Sharonov, many foreign investors are eyeing possible purchase of Russian hi-tech companies, although just e few Russian companies attracted international interest in recent public placements both in Russia and abroad. “Western partners are still worried about the business climate, the quality of corporate governance and oversized presence of the state in the economy,” he summed up.

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