US authorities plan to suggest Russia invest more money from its reserve and national welfare funds into the American economy, a deputy US Treasury secretary said.
Robert Kimmitt said Russian investment in the US economy will be a key topic at his negotiations with Russian government officials and businessmen in the course of his upcoming visit to Moscow later this week. „Russia has recently approved the transformation by 2008 of its oil stabilization fund into a reserve fund and a fund for future generations, sometimes called a national welfare fund. The current oil stabilization fund operates on the basis of publicly available investment guidelines, and we hope that that will also be the case for the fund for future generations, especially if it too is to invest abroad,” he said. As of June 1, Russia's stabilization fund stood at 3,027 trillion rubles ($117 billion), up 105 billion rubles in May. „As they look to make decisions about investment opportunities abroad, we want to make sure that they understand that we are open to investment,” he said.
Kimmit said that in May, US President George Bush released an important policy statement making clear that America is open to foreign direct investment, adding that this was the first US government open investment statement in 16 years. „And the Commerce Department released statistics last week that indicate foreign capital inflows to acquire or establish a business in the United States jumped 77% to over $160 billion in 2006. That's the highest level since 2000,” he said. Kimmit said that China and Russia, together with the Gulf Arab countries, are three of the largest repositories of sovereign wealth funds, and each has taken steps to diversify their sovereign holdings. „We want to be sure they consider investment opportunities in the United States as part of that asset diversification strategy together with efforts to open their economies to greater participation by US and other foreign firms,” he said. The US Treasury press service said that during his visit to Moscow, Kimmit will only participate in one media event - a presentation at the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Russia, scheduled for June 21. (rian.ru)