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Investment Council under Chairman of State Duma supports initiatives to boost Russian exports

Issues concerning the development of the Russian export support system were top of the agenda at the Investment Council under the Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation meeting on 30 October 2014. During the meeting, the Council members approved proposals to develop the state support system for exports, as well as further efforts aimed at promoting targeted regulatory procedures.

In his speech, EXIAR CEO Peter Fradkov noted that "a number of Russian ministries, government institutions and NGOs have been working to address the issue of increasing exports, and their efforts are aimed at both financial and non-financial means of supporting exports."

Non-financial measures include increasing support for exporters through trade offices and regional information centres, as well as efforts aimed at enhancing regulatory procedures, including ones related to simplifying foreign currency control and customs administration for exports.

Financial means of supporting exports include state export credit and guarantees (long-established services in Russia), as well as efforts aimed at promoting export lending. A scheme involving subsidies for interest rates on export credits issued by Vnesheconombank came into effect in 2014, while EXIAR's export credit and investment insurance is currently being introduced into business practice.

Since its establishment, the Agency has worked closely with the business community and the commercial financing sector, and has constantly encountered the need among businesses for a streamlined state support system. Based on practical experience, the demand from businesses for an improved state support infrastructure can be divided into four categories:

1.      The need for additional information to outline the principles of specific support services available to exporters, as well as general information regarding the exporting process.

2.      Economic incentives for commercial financial organisations (primarily for federal and regional commercial banks) in order to develop export financing and introduce new state support services into business practice.

3.      General improvement of the exports infrastructure : adjustment of regulatory procedures, diversification of approaches to supporting exporters of different sizes, and laying the groundwork for aspects of the sector which are new to Russia (such as factoring).

4.      Adaptation of financial support tools offered by the state to fit the specific requirements of certain industries and export projects.

Fradkov announced that considerable and system-wise efforts aimed at developing the infrastructure and adapting relevant regulatory procedures are being made as part of the National Business Initiative (NBI) to improve the investment climate in the Russian Federation, which began in 2012.

Eleven roadmaps have been developed within the NBI, including 'Supporting Access to Foreign Markets and Supporting Exports'. The second revision of this roadmap, which includes 39 measures following consultations with the business community, is currently being implemented. Key federal authorities and state export support institutions are all involved in this process.  

"The roadmap stipulates the adoption of 16 regulatory documents in 2014–15, eight of these being federal laws. All these documents have now been drafted, approved by relevant ministries and submitted to the Russian Government", said Fradkov.

The Investment Council was established in 2012 under the Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation with the aim of increasing investment in the Russian economy. The Council meets to draw up recommendations to improve current legislative provisions and rules to boost investment supply and demand.

The Russian Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance (EXIAR) was established in 2011 as an open joint-stock company. EXIAR’s mission is to support Russian high-tech exports by insuring export credits against commercial and political risks, as well as Russian investments abroad against political risks. Vnesheconombank is the sole shareholder of EXIAR. The agency's charter capital is RUB 30 billion. 

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