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Sochi International Investment Forum gains momentum, Medvedev says

September 19, 2014, 21:17 UTC+3 SOCHI
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SOCHI, September 19 /ITAR-TASS/. Investment problems in Russia are caused by external factors, which are going to be overcome sooner or later, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry said on Friday.

It is the third time that Medvedev is taking part in the Sochi Investment Forum in his capacity as prime minister. He said he was very pleased with discussions that are taking place in Sochi this year.

“The forum has been gaining momentum and has received a new lease of life in recent years,” Medvedev said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass.

The forum is being held at the Expocenter which used to be the main Olympic media center back in February 2014.

“The heads of Russian regions, the federal government and the business community consider it to be a good floor for discussions,” Medvedev said, adding the forum’s new venue was not the only reason for the current improvements.

Asked about what he expected from the forum, Medvedev said that “extremely difficult times had arrived.”

“Had anybody told me quite recently, about eight months ago, that we are going to face such problems, I would have simply refused to believe them,” Medvedev said, adding it was also hard to believe in the 2008 global economic crisis that had hit the world’s leading nations.

According to the prime minister, investments are the biggest problem.

“Investments are a very subtle matter. They flow well in conditions of stability,” Medvedev told Itar-Tass. He clarified that stability was determined by several factors.

“Internal stability comes first. There is no problem with political stability (in Russia). We have it. Macroeconomic stability is not a problem either. But there are infrastructure problems,” Medvedev said. According to him, infrastructure restrictions such as bad roads and communications were Russia’s main scourges, which the country had failed to get rid of over the past 20 years.

“We need to pay attention to them. We want to see normal full-fledged private and private-public investments in Russia,” Medvedev said.

External conditions are another vital factor that can affect investments.

“We are capable of living in much harder conditions. The question is what quality of life we are going to have?” Medvedev went on to say.

“No one is going to deny that external effects are important but we do not want such a scenario. It is clear what exactly is hindering investments,” Medvedev said.

In his view, the external factor “may not necessarily interfere with the lives of the majority of people because no fundamental changes have taken place in their lives. Their incomes, payments and prices remained unchanged even despite the decisions that were taken.”

Medvedev admitted that separate regions were facing problems. “There are also problems with prices for separate foods,” the premier said adding the external factor created the biggest problem for investments.

“I hope that this problem is going to be solved sooner or later. It is bad for the general investment climate and destroys the fundamentals of global economy,” Medvedev said in conclusion.

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