RT / Russia’s economic growth is a very positive sign for businesses, as it creates a lot of confidence about their investments, Ian Colebourne, CEO of Deloitte CIS, told RT at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). “I think it’s fair to say that the level of growth would have been higher if we hadn’t faced these challenges [sanctions]. And I think when we look again to the long-term view and the aspirations set out in President Putin’s address recently, there’s something that we support – a lot of economic reforms and growth in the economy,” Ian Colebourne said.

According to him, the significant growth of Russian agriculture has attracted the attention of foreign investors. “I think the changes that we’ve seen over the past created confidence for investment, created confidence to take a longer term view,” he said.

Investment, sanctions, economic growth & more – RT speaks to @Deloitte CIS CEO who is taking part in St. Petersburg Intl Economic Forum ( #SPIEF ) pic.twitter.com/LWkhhdT9IR

— RT (@RT_com) May 25, 2018 Colebourne added that over the past nine months, there have been investments in Russian oil and gas, as well as in oil field services. “We’ve worked with clients who continue to invest into agriculture, that’s been a theme for over the past at least two to three years. We’re also seeing investment into pharmaceuticals, and there’s increasing interest in some of the light industries and localization.”

He also noted investment to support localization of production and “that’s something that I think will continue whether or not the current situation is in place.” According to Colebourne, localization of production makes a lot of sense with fundamentals for the country remaining as solid as they were before.

‘Isolated’ #Russia welcomes investment funds worth over $13 trillion at St. Petersburg forum https://t.co/VvO8RD9zEF

— RT (@RT_com) May 21, 2018 There is a lot of opportunity for investors in Russia in terms of long term view, Colebourne said, explaining that the fundamental thing for business is about “how you create the confidence and the stability to enable that.”

The executive believes that the European Union will remain Russia’s leading trading partner. “That is something which has been the case and continues to be the case.”

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