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Medvedev notes lessons to learn from Hong Kong

Outdoor Electronic Board for Russian ExchangeRussia is halfway to creating an international financial centre in Moscow, President Dmitry Medvedev said in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Medvedev's modernising crusade has turned its lens on attracting investors and the government is keen to show that it is taking serious efforts to bring in foreign money and jet propel the economy into the future.

But the figures do not yet add up, and Moscow was ranked 68 of 75 on the list of international financial centres in October last year, RIA Novosti reported.

London and New York currently head the charts.

Ambitious plans

Medvedev spoke about Russia's plans to turn Moscow into an international financial hub at a meeting with the Donald Tsang, chief executive of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

"So far, we are at the organizational stage of creating an international financial center, adopting laws and seeking to improve the investment climate and create the infrastructure," Medvedev said, RIA Novosti reported.

"I hope we are already halfway past our efforts to achieve the result, which is also very important," he said.

Medvedev first announced the project at the 12th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2008, stressing that it was aimed at turning Russia's national currency, the rouble, into a leading regional currency.

Best foot forward

"If we speak about internal financial issues, all of them have been resolved to some or other extent. The crisis is over and we need to focus on other aspects," he said.

Medvedev had earlier said the financial center in Moscow will become not only the core of Russia's financial system, but also the impetus for the development of financial markets in the entire post-Soviet region.

Learning a lesson

Hong Kong is among the largest business centres in the world and last year was voted the freest economy.

"The Hong practice of protecting patent rights and the commercialization of scientific projects is very important for us. Hong-Kong's rich experience could help us create an international financial centre in Moscow," Medvedev said, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.

Protection of intellectual property rights is one of the key rungs in the ladder to modernisation that Russia has yet to satisfactorily grasp, Nadia Arbatova of the Institute for World Economy and World Relations told The Moscow News.

Tsang described the first two listings of Russian firms on Hong Kong's stock exchange aluminium giant RUSAL, and IRC, an iron ore subsidiary of miner Petropavlovsk, as a "breakthrough," Agence France Presse reported.

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