Summit News

Kremlin: Russia to ease investment rules

The Kremlin's top economic aide Arkady Dvorkovich talks to Reuters in Moscow September 15, 2009. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will adjust its laws to make Western investments easier in strategic sectors but it wants to see bigger flows to machine building and high tech sectors rather than oil or gas, a Kremlin aide said on Tuesday.

Arkady Dvorkovich told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit some regulations on foreign access to strategic industries, approved in 2008 to make many deposits off limits to foreigners, have proved to be too complicated and tough.

Russia offered new deals to foreign majors Total TOTF.PA and Royal Dutch/Shell RDSa.L in the past months in what investors perceived as Moscow's move to ease its resource nationalism amid tougher access to financial resources and expertise because of the financial crisis.

“There will be more and more foreign companies in our resource sector but every time it will require agreements on a high-level,” said Dvorkovich, adding there were other sectors which Russia saw as top priority to attract foreign capital.

“We need investment in drug production, medical and telecoms equipment in information technologies etc,” he said.

“Machine building... We need new technologies. Production of oil servicing equipment... We need a regime of maximum comfort so it takes minimal time to take decisions and implement projects,” he added.