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Russia to Form Direct Investment Fund At Start of Summer - Medvedev

Cash, Calculator, PenHONG KONG. April 18 (Interfax) - A direct investment fund will be formed at the start of this summer, said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a luncheon with Hong Kong business people on Monday.

"Modern Russia is carrying out a plan for modernization and innovation development. Foreign investment plays a special role in this process. I recently set forth a series of measures for improving the business and investment climate," he said.

"A direct investment fund will already be in place at the start of the summer. It will co-finance capital investment of foreign funds and companies in Russian projects," Medvedev said.

He added that Russia's authorities plan to simplify the process for rectifying improper decisions by regulatory bodies in relation to entrepreneurs. In addition, the authorities plan to create an institution of regional commissions on investment issues, expand the rights of minority shareholders and improve legislative stimulus for foreign investment in several strategic sectors.

"We will continue the de-bureaucratization of our economy in the future. We will also continue to fight decisively with corruption. In this regard, by the way, Hong Kong's experience is extremely useful for us," Medvedev said.

Presidential Advisor Arkady Dvorkovich told journalists that the fund's management will be after the necessary legal documents are ready by June 1.

"A set of documents is still being put together that is necessary for creating the fund. This also concerns formal documentation and internal documents on investment declarations, as well as the risk and general management of the fund. So far, (this process) doesn't concern any specific people. This is the preliminary stage," Dvorkovich said, adding: "a set of documents will be readied by June 1. A selection of professionals to manage the fund will then be starting," he said.

Dvorkovich added that no legislative changes would be needed for forming the fund with the exception of amendments to the budget law, which would be necessary in order to inject initial financial resources into the fund.

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