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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Perspectives from Qatar and Russia: Investment Trends in Emerging Markets
21 January 2020
14:30—15:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Development of investment partnership between Russia and Qatar currently stands at the highest level

In the past 3 to 4 years, there has been a very good relations development from the business and investment point of view. Qatar’s investment in Russia in the past five years have totaled around USD 13–14 billion, so we can see that the relationship is building up — Al Jaida Yousef Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Financial Center -Tentative.

We provide partnership: this is the kind of covenant that we do to partner with you on the long run, and we are very committed in terms of furthering our partnerships — Al Thani Ali Alwaleed, Chief Executive Officer, Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar.

Qatar is ready to develop joint projects with the Russian business community

In the past two years we have seen a handful of Russian companies that established their presence in Qatar. One of them is VTB; they established a bank in Qatar. These are the types of investment we like to see — Al Jaida Yousef Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Financial Center -Tentative.

ISSUES
Challenges to development of a comfortable environment for doing business

In 2010, it was announced that Qatar would host the FIFA World Cup. And starting from that time we have been focusing on so-called soft reforms to ease doing business. It is the most challenging thing — Al Attiyah Saud Abdullah, Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance –Tentative of Qatar.

Russia and Qatar, we share similar challenges. Soft advantages are much more difficult to build, from the ease of doing business to the safety of investment — Arkady Dvorkovich, President, World Chess Federation (FIDE); Chairman, Skolkovo Foundation .

Quality indicators of investment activity need improvement

We are not looking into quantities of foreign direct investment. But we are really looking into clusters and attracting quality foreign direct investment. And by quality, I mean attracting know-how, attracting high-skilled labour, and transfer of knowledge <...>, driving investment into sectors other than the oil and gas industry — Al Thani Ali Alwaleed, Chief Executive Officer, Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar.

Between Russian and Qatari business communities, the awareness of each other’s potential is low

Many Russians want to get quite a small investment ranging from 1 to 5 million US dollars into their business. This is obviously not something that the Qatar Investment Authority would be interested in. In many cases, Russian investors simply do not think about Qatar as the destination for their wealth — Aleksei Potemkin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Moscow Policy Group.

Opportunities for fintech development in the two countries are limited due to market size

Financial companies are natural leaders in technological development. The path of fintech would be useful for both Russia and Qatar, but the market size is crucial. We need to have a bigger market for our joint investments — Arkady Dvorkovich, President, World Chess Federation (FIDE); Chairman, Skolkovo Foundation .

One of the main challenges is the market size in Russia and in Qatar — Al Thani Ali Alwaleed, Chief Executive Officer, Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar.

SOLUTIONS
Creating conditions to ease doing business

We are now focusing on the ease of doing business. We recently established the Investment Promotion Agency — Al Attiyah Saud Abdullah, Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance –Tentative of Qatar.

Establishing communication between business communities. I believe the Roscongress Foundation and the Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar could be a great help here — Aleksei Potemkin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Moscow Policy Group.

One of the solutions is a kind of a passporting regime that could allow immediate market access and provide startups and venture companies with the room to grow. Discussion on this could be taken further, especially using the platform between the Investment Promotion Agency and Roscongress, and we could see how we could help Qatari and Russians startups cross-migrate and open new markets for them to grow — Al Thani Ali Alwaleed, Chief Executive Officer, Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar.

Creating a joint venture fund to develop small and medium-sized businesses

We can think of building up a venture fund which would invest into small-scale businesses. And the money should come from both sides. That could help the development of small business — Aleksei Potemkin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Moscow Policy Group.

We can come up with an idea of how we can work jointly between Qatar and Russia, especially in the field of SMEs. Venture capital fund might be a good idea — Al Attiyah Saud Abdullah, Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance –Tentative of Qatar.

I would refine the idea of a venture fund. I think we should do it jointly with our leading companies, such as VTB, Sberbank — Arkady Dvorkovich, President, World Chess Federation (FIDE); Chairman, Skolkovo Foundation .

Joint development of fintech

Global growth of fintech is a major opportunity. Technologies from Russia, China and the USA are the world’s leading in the fintech sector. And we should consider fintech in Islamic countries: we have 1.5 billion consumers in countries around Qatar. Two million people in Qatar is not enough to make fintech profitable. We must look at the entire region and develop some kind of a unified model — Al Attiyah Saud Abdullah, Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance –Tentative of Qatar.

Synergy in digital technology

We have a number of partnerships, primarily with Roscongress and several other organizations. We exchange best practices, especially those related to the development of high tech. And when we talk about 2 trillion in direct investments, we understand that competition is very high — Al Thani Ali Alwaleed, Chief Executive Officer, Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar.

As we pass through the same challenges, we have successful investment stories, both in Qatar and in Russia, based on diversification agenda. We have good technologies in certain areas like artificial intelligence, big data analysis. Skolkovo has its own innovation agenda, such as smart city technologies, especially in the context of preparation for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Together we can offer those solutions, backed by financial resources that our countries have together — Arkady Dvorkovich, President, World Chess Federation (FIDE); Chairman, Skolkovo Foundation .

The area where we see some synergies is in digital. Qatar has a unique experience in terms of smart city. We have the first two greenfield smart city projects, which are built from the ground up, and so many software applications that could be developed on top of that. We could share our experience and incorporate some of the Russian technologies, and provide the platform of Qatari greenfield smart city projects. We are looking at the Russian experience in some of the technological solutions for the World Cup — Al Thani Ali Alwaleed, Chief Executive Officer, Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar.

Cooperation in real economy and social sphere

Apart from the technological sector, we also have a lot of opportunity in agriculture and food security — Aleksei Potemkin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Moscow Policy Group.

We have some health technologies, some agricultural technologies that Russia produced in the past few years. Applying those technologies in the areas where we had no experience before together with Qatar would be most profitable and economically sustainable over the long period of time — Arkady Dvorkovich, President, World Chess Federation (FIDE); Chairman, Skolkovo Foundation .