“Russian economy is growing,” said Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, in his address at the session on “Prospects of the Russian economy and financial markets” that opened the first day of the Moscow Financial Forum.

“This growth is supported with stable macroeconomic indicators, a positive balance of visible trade, and a low external debt. This is what makes us different from other developed countries,” noted Oreshkin.

Discussing the issues related to the volatile ruble, the Minister emphasized that no serious changes should be expected as the ruble is not forecast to fall into decline in 2020 or later.

According to Mikhail Zadornov, Chairman of the Management Board of Otkritie Bank, risks do not threaten the ruble but rather other factors:

“The Russian economy is under potential risks of capital outflow, dollar strengthening trend, increase in the FRS rates, and potential trade clashes related to the global economy deceleration,” noted Zadornov.

The session also covered the issues of attracting foreign investors. The topic was raised by Xiaodong Tang, CEO of GF Holdings, who said that year 2017 saw Russia visited by a million and a half of tourists from China. Chinese investors are also highly interested in Russia but are not sufficiently aware of the Russian market structure and the system of interaction with local investors.

In his reply to the Chinese guest, Vladimir Kolychev, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, noted that Russia has regulatory restrictions for foreign investors; nevertheless, this country is successfully hosting offshore investors, including from China.

“Our major task is to increase state’s role as a shareholder in terms of making decisions in the dividend policy,” noted the Deputy Ministry of Finance while discussing the suggestion to reduce state companies’ dividends and use the released funds in investment programs.”