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Voloshin Speaks to Kommersant

11.11.2014 00:00 / Kommersant

It is becoming apparent that the Russian economy will remain under the pressure of Western sanctions for a long time. CEO at Number One Cargo Company (PGK) Alexander Voloshin tells Kommersant how the business will survive, whether the Moscow International Financial Center project will proceed as planned, and how Russian state regulation is different from the US.

What is happening with Russia’s investment climate? How do the sanctions affect Moscow International Financial Center (MIFC) prospects?

— Naturally, the sanctions threaten economy, they are not a good thing. It is important to realize, though, that MIFC is a strategic goal, not attached to current affairs. Projects like this do not happen overnight anywhere. Take our friends over in Frankfurt. It took them some 20 years from the moment when they came up with the idea until the actual financial center. They saw more than one crisis, more than one change of government. The project endured all that, it was an ongoing thing taken care of. This sets an example for Moscow, since the Frankfurt IFC was artificially formed, unlike historically developed IFCs in London or New York. The German securities market was over-regulated at the time, a massive portion of German shares traded abroad. The situation resembled the one we face today.

Thus, all it takes is political will and determination, aim for the long-term strategic projects. The Moscow IFC projects has goals that are not easy to achieve, however, they can be achieved relatively quickly — such as improving the quality of regulation and financial infrastructure. Moscow Exchange has something to show for it already, there is the megaregulator, the legislative developments. However, some things take time — like business climate improvement. The latter has now become crucial for the entire economy, the only actual reserve for palpable growth.

Russian companies are already facing problems getting foreign loans. What are the likely repercussions?

— I can’t imagine someone saying the sanction are a positive influence in business or no impact at all. Of course, foreign financing limitations affect us, they pose serious problems. However, even despite our economy still not being diversified enough, it is capable of handling these shocks. Something that is definitely unlikely and will not happen is economic catastrophes.

How do you rate the megaregulator’s efforts?

— I rate them highly. What matters, though, is not what I think of them, but rather what the market thinks of them. Ask the market players and they will tell you that the megaregulator was an absolutely correct and timely decision. This serves as a good example of successful government reform.

Financial markets megaregulatorProject Group №1Alexander Voloshin