The meeting took place at Sberbank’s central head office.
Before the meeting, the President heard about some of the bank’s new services, in particular the automated customer service system Sberbank Online, which already has two million registered users.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
I wish you all a warm welcome to this first meeting of the International Advisory Board [on establishing and developing an international financial centre in Russia]. Thank you very much for coming here to be with us today. I met with a good number of you at the St Petersburg [International] Economic Forum, but many new people have joined the board since then, which makes me very happy. Once again, thank you for accepting our invitation.
”Our goal in developing the international financial centre is also to take the country’s economy to a new level, create new jobs, and open up new markets.“
We have a purely working meeting ahead, and Mr Gref [President and Chairman of the Board of Sberbank German Gref] warned that it would be a very long one, and so I ask you all to stock up on patience. We will of course discuss our plans to develop Russia’s financial centre, looking at the trends and events currently taking place on the global financial markets. Obviously, these events are various in nature and many of them do not make us happy in the slightest, but to be honest, this only furthers our determination to push ahead with establishing the Moscow International Financial Centre (IFC).
Work continues on the project right now, but a number of important decisions that will facilitate its successful implementation have already been made. In particular, we will merge our two biggest trading floors – the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange [MICEX], and the Russian Trading System [RTS], and have finalised what we all agreed is an essential draft law on a central depositary. Our goal in developing the international financial centre is also to take the country’s economy to a new level, create new jobs, and open up new markets.
We have tried to work hard over this period, and I want you to be completely frank and honest in your assessment of what we have got right or wrong. You must not worry about sounding undiplomatic, and never mind the format we are meeting in today. The real value of your being here after all is precisely to let us hear from you the whole truth and not some polished version.
”Of course one of our aims in developing the financial centre is to attract investment from abroad, and also give Russia’s own businesspeople a better working environment.“
Of course one of our aims in developing the financial centre is to attract investment from abroad, and also give Russia’s own businesspeople a better working environment. The use of modern financial instruments will make our market more competitive and help everyone to multiply their capital.
In accordance with the earlier agreements, the IFC will be considered an intrinsic part of Russia’s economy. This complicates our task because the Russian economy is not without its problems and difficulties, but we chose this approach for the synergy effect that the IFC’s development will give. We want the benefits to be felt not only in the financial sector, but in other economic sectors too.
I ask you all here to speak as experts and set out your specific ideas and proposals in completely frank and open spirit. I hope this will be interesting, and most importantly, useful for us.
In conclusion, I just want to add that I hope all of you will attend the reconstructed Bolshoi Theatre’s opening this evening. I am sure you will not regret it, for the result really is magnificent. We have learned to build theatres, and I hope we will learn to build our International Financial Centre too.
Let’s start work.