KUWAIT CITY, December 9. /TASS/. Despite the current sanctions, European companies are still ranking first in terms of investments in Crimea, Vadim Tretyakov, an investment adviser to the Russian minister for the affairs of Crimea, told TASS on Tuesday.
“Europe ranks first, since we have some achievements in the work with these countries. But we do have a rather serious groundwork for contacts with Asian countries,” said Tretyakov, who arrived in Kuwait City to attend a Russian-Kuwaiti investment forum on Wednesday. “Investors from these regions have been massively investing in our country. Today, the situation has somewhat changed and we are looking for new markets and new directions.”
His said the current visit to Kuwait was his first trip to the Middle East. “It would be unwise to expect a breakthrough,” since this trip, in his words, was more of an informative character. He said the choice of Kuwait was to a larger extent accidental. “It is the first but not last country of the Gulf we are planning to promote our “product” to,” he noted, adding the term “product” implied a free economic zone in Crimea.
He also dwelled on difficulties his ministry had to encounter while trying to attract foreign capital. Such problems, in his words, stemmed rather from Russia’s image abroad. “On the one hand, investors are very interested in our market, they see its potential. But on the other hand, they are afraid of it, they are afraid of our realities. I would say this fear is rooted in unawareness,” he noted.
Tretyakov noted that information about Russia was deliberately distorted abroad. “Our country is seen as a strong rival on the global market and I think such misinformation is an element of unfair competition,” he stressed.
Touching on the West’s anti-Russian sanctions, he admitted that they were hampering the process of capital attraction. “Western companies, recognizable brands prefer not to run the risk of enter here under their names,” he said. “Whereas some time before, we signed agreements with investors before the public eye, now we do it behind closed doors.”
He refused to dwell on the current volume of investments in Crimea. “We can declare any sums at this stage and demonstrate them proudly wherever possible,” he said. “But later on, we will have to answer for these figures. Let us speak about figures by the end of next year.”.