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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Forum Players

MTYevgeny Chichvarkin
What do you see as the main challenges of working in Russia today?

How would you advise investors to meet those challenges?

Yevgeny Chichvarkin. CEO, Yevroset

"Judging by the RTS index, the challenges in Russia are fewer than the profits made by investors. The main challenge remains the unpredictability of some [market] regulators."

Yegor Gaidar. Former prime minister

Yegor Gaidar
"The Russian economy is dynamic and rapidly developing with high rates of economic growth, and the most dynamic sectors are not oil and gas. Total GDP is increasing three times more than in that sector. Russia is, however, still an oil- and gas-dependent country."

"In the short term -- meaning three years -- we won't in any realistic scenario see any serious threat to the Russian economy. The worst case scenario is a slowdown of economic growth."

"I really do not hear complaints that investors have any problems, but if you are dealing with oil and gas, then it is better to consult with the authorities."

Lord Norman Foster. Architect

Lord Norman Foster
"One of the sessions that I will be participating in at the forum will be talking about the challenges of incorporating contemporary architecture within these historic settings [in St. Petersburg], and we will be showing some of our projects from various places around the world, such as London or Berlin.

"Really there is for me a tremendous sense of excitement about working in Russia. For me it is a very exciting challenge and one that I personally enjoy immensely.

"The process that we have been through with the governor in St. Petersburg and the mayor in Moscow and the way in which important people have participated in that, I have nothing but praise for that process. And I could argue passionately that what we are doing is respecting the culture and heritage."

Sir Martin Sorrell. CEO, WPP

Sir Martin Sorrell
"This is probably the fastest growing market in the world. The biggest challenge is finding and retaining good people."

"[My advice to foreign investors is to] grab the opportunity as quickly as possible."

Jean Lemierre. President, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Jean Lemierre
"We are seeing a change of strategy in the Russian energy sector where the government has made it clear that this is a key strategic area. There still is great demand for investment in other areas.

"Investors must follow long-term strategies rather than look for quick money. Any deal should be scrutinized carefully and involve open discussion with Russian counterparts."

Ruben Vardanyan. President, Troika Dialog

Ruben Vardanyan
"Managing the right expectations about Russia. In China, they were there from the beginning, and they understand the rules. But in Russia they are behaving like they are in another European country, but Russia is different.

"The country is a different model by mental behavior and by education. I am not saying that it is better or worse, I am just saying that it is different.

"Foreigners should not try to behave like they do at home, try to understand the differences, and find the right local partners."