(Oleg Yasinsky) In case you haven’t noticed, Russia is steadily working on the future reality of Moscow as being a regional trade and financial centre for Europe and Asia. On Wednesday President Medvedev held a telephone conference with the leaders of Kazakhstan and Belarus as they plan for a trilateral summit in the second half of November in Moscow to further the integration process of the much anticipated Customs Union. The November meeting will focus on establishing governing bodies for the Customs Union and the Trade/Economic Zone.
On Thursday Mr. Medvedev hosted a meeting of the International Advisory Board for the creation of an International Financial Centre in Russia. The meeting took place at Sberbank’s central head office. Sberbank is one of Russia’s largest banks and their online banking division recently hit the two million mark in registered users, quite a feat in a country that at first was shy about using online financial services.
The Kremlin desires to make Russia into a international financial centre, beginning with the Moscow International Financial Centre (IFC). As part of the plan Medvedev announced plans to merge Russia’s two biggest trading floors – the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange [MICEX], and the Russian Trading System [RTS], and have finalized an essential draft law on a central depositary.
Speaking to participants President Medvedev described the project as a way to take the country’s economy to a new level, create new jobs, and open up new markets with the aim to attract investment from abroad.
(This week Mendeleyev is covering the Herman Cain campaign in a 4 day swing of the southern USA. Guest writing for the Journal is Oleg Yasinsky.)