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Posted: January 31, 2008
Dmitry Medvedev calls on Russian Companies to Buy Foreign Businesses
(Nanowerk News) Russian companies should buy more foreign businesses to bolster domestic production and increase the country's clout, President Vladimir Putin's likely successor said Thursday.
"This is a very important task and you know that the majority of large nations have been doing this and some countries, such as China, have been doing this rather actively," Dmitry Medvedev told an investment forum in southern Russia in televised comments. "And we could also do it more actively.
Medvedev, who is currently a first deputy prime minister, said Russian companies should seek to buy foreign companies either directly or through share acquisitions.
"That will make it possible to re-equip Russian enterprises, enhance their production, diversify investment and gain new markets," he told the forum, which included some of Russia's most influential business leaders.
Medvedev's comments came a day after business officials at another forum suggested that Russia's bumptious foreign policy could undermine its economic ambitions.
Anatoly Chubais, the head of the national electrical grid RAO United Energy Systems, said Russia's sometimes confrontational foreign policy could chill other countries' willingness to allow access to Russia's sovereign investment funds.
He noted that, although foreign funds have recently made substantial investments in U.S. financial institutions, Russia's has not been among them.
Medvedev also defended efforts by Putin's government to create supragovernmental corporations to bolster key sectors of the economy _ shipbuilding, aerospace, nanotechnology and atomic energy-related industries.
Some analysts say the effort will create massive inefficiencies and uncompetitive bureaucracies.
"State corporations are only needed in branches which cannot do without them, and only for a definite period," he was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying.
Putin last month named Medvedev as his favored successor in the March 2 presidential election. Medvedev has promised to make Putin prime minister if he wins _ a near-certainty given his popularity and the Kremlin's near-total domination of the country's political life and national media.