Meeting of the Governor with the investors (Встреча губернатора с инвесторами).

I had an opportunity and pleasure to participate to Встреча губернатора с инвесторами by Skype on last Saturday 14.12.2013 and tell greetings from behalf of Association of European Businesses directly to the governor of St. Petersburg, Mr. Georgy Sergeyevich Poltavshenko.

If we take the last 1,5 years and consider, what has happened with the investment climate of St. Petersburg, we can divide this period into two parts. The first year was difficult, since the transition of powers from the old officials to new administration took all the energy from the real decision making. By now the situation has improved a lot, apparat is functioning quite well and for example construction companies have been able to do business quite well. As the Russian economy has turned to slowdown, City administration wants to keep construction business in a move to help to revive the slowing economy.

St. Petersburg administration has done many improvements in order to raise the investment attractiveness:

–       Investment Council has been operative one year and its director Irina Pabyuk has been quite active to meet with the representatives of the business
–       There is a front-office, which helps investors to solve their problems with various administrative barriers
–       Investment Council has been actively in contacts with various business association.

This all means that now there are more support for the investors than earlier and in that respect the investment climate should improve. I hope that all investors go there and ask for the support, this is a way to test, how well City’s administration really is able to support investors to make new investments to the City. From behalf of AEB I hope that City administration will continue their efforts to improve the investment climate further.

At the end of my speech I told to Mr. Poltavshenko, that there is at least one issue, which could be better, like they say in the beer ad: “Надо чаще встречаться” (“We have to meet more often”).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2014!

Timo Mikkonen

North-Western Regional Committee
Association of European Businesses

Managing Director
Vostok Consulting Oy