A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation – a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 130 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 70 countries worldwide.

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Ensuring a Sustainable Framework to Attract and Protect Investment: Drawing on Russia and Singapore’s Experience in the Global and Regional Context
6 September 2019
12:00—13:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Territories of advanced development and the free port of Vladivostok attract investors

The maximum economic effect and contribution to the economy is made by the territories of advanced development and the free port of Vladivostok. <...> Let's start with the territory of advanced development. This is a preferential regime that exists in 10 regions of the Far East. A total of 20 territories of advanced development have been created. These are certain areas, and even though they have borders, they can be located in several municipalities at the same time. They already have 376 residents. According to the agreements signed with us, they have been declared RUB 2.5 trillion. Approximately RUB 340 billion have already been invested and about 100 companies are already operating there. <...> The Free Port of Vladivostok operates in 22 municipalities in 5 regions. As a matter of fact, the regime covers the entire municipal formation <...> It is popular, with more than 1,400 residents for today, for RUB 780 billion declared projects. About RUB 105 billion has already been invested <...> 150 companies are already operating — Nikolay Zapryagaev, Deputy General Director for Residential Policy and Project Management, Far East Development Corporation .

Russia has everything in place to protect investors’ rights

To date, Russia has signed more than 80 bilateral agreements. Indeed, Russia has signed the Washington Convention, <...> the so-called ICSID Convention, quite a long time ago, but did not ratify it. <...> But it should not be forgotten that even without the ICSID Convention an investor in Russia has the opportunity to protect its investments against the state on the basis of bilateral agreements — Dmitriy Dyakin, Partner, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners .

The [arbitration, – Ed.] reform has created a very important legislative basis for us to create a modern system of dispute resolution through commercial arbitration. And now the second stage of this reform is actually going on, namely, the implementation of the introduced provisions in practice. <...> Thus, in Russia all the conditions have been created so that these disputes can be resolved in accordance with the best international standards — Andrey Gorlenko, Executive Administrator, Russian Arbitration Centre at the Russian Institute of Modern Arbitration .

The main competitive advantage of Russian courts as compared to the majority of foreign jurisdictions is the speed of proceedings. A court in Cyprus may digest single case for 10 years. <...> For an English court 3 to 4 years is quite a normal term for the settlement of a dispute. <...> Russian court still tries to fit into 1 to 1.5 years, and we are talking about three authorities at once — Kirill Udovichenko, Partner, Monastyrsky, Zyuba, Stepanov & Partners.

ISSUES
Legal imperfections

The barrier the investor is facing now is created by an imperfect legal framework. I will highlight two limitations. Insufficient efficiency of the judicial system and long terms of case reviews by arbitration courts. In fact, it makes a company inoperative. It has to cease operations and has to focus on things other than those it should be focusing on — Nikolay Zapryagaev, Deputy General Director for Residential Policy and Project Management, Far East Development Corporation .

Lack of investment stability

From the point of view of investment protection and maintenance of the investor's trust, I consider it very important that the rules of the game remain the same. The investment conditions, under which the investor has decided to implement his or her project have to remain unchanged. If they change, it should not apply to those legal relations that arose before these changes, because it is unfair to the investors who spends their money and make decisions directly based the conditions in which they were at the time — Nikolay Zapryagaev, Deputy General Director for Residential Policy and Project Management, Far East Development Corporation .

SOLUTIONS
Using the advanced international experience in investor defense

In Russia, it would make sense to create a separate structure within the courts. To choose arbitration court specialists and judges to deal only with international disputes beyond the borders of one country. <...> Then foreign investors would have confidence that there would be uniform standards of case consideration in the Russian courts. <...> I think it is very important for Russia to think about taking advantage of international experience. There is an ICSID Convention that Russia should have joined. <...> Just do not forget that 154 countries in the world have already ratified the ICSID Convention, but Russia is yet to do so. <...> Russia certainly adheres to international norms, but these little things are stepping stones towards the trust of international investor — Francis Xavier, S.C.; Partner, Rajah & Tann Singapore.

In fact, Singapore shows the world, including Russia, how it is possible to attract investment and create a great investment climate through the proper organization of the legal framework and creating a legal gateway in Asia. It is important for investors that when they go to new markets, apart from investments protection guarantees, they have confidence in clear game rules for many years. They should know, that the state will make sure that no additional barriers are created, and the investment climate remains predictably stable — Igor Krasnov, Senior Vice President, State Development Corporation "VEB.RF".

I visited almost all of Singapore's major firms, and I was impressed. I was impressed by the scale of their operations, the scale of their thinking and the scope of their international regional business. <...> Singapore does invest huge resources, funds, and legal infrastructure. This legal infrastructure is unique — Dmitriy Dyakin, Partner, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners .

Singapore offers a range of different options. <...> A variety of options you have to resolve your disputes. If you have a commercial dispute, if you want to go to court, you can go to the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. You can contact us if you need arbitration. This is extremely important. Each transaction depending on its matrix will require you to make a certain strategic choice — Alyona Bitkivskaya, Associate Mediator, Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

Russian lawyers should increase their efforts to enter international markets

Russia also has a great deal of talent. I know that a large number of lawyers from Russia are rightly considered international, but they mainly work in Europe. Come to Asia, open your own offices in the growing Asian countries. If your CV says that you are an international company operating in Asia, it will only do you good. <...> I think that Russian lawyers need to be more active in international associations. IPP, for example — Francis Xavier, S.C.; Partner, Rajah & Tann Singapore.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS