Anatoly Chubais' Column

Russia Eyes Broader Tech Сooperation with S. Korea: RUSNANO Head

28 April 2015

By Kim Eun-jung

Russia is seeking to expand cooperation with South Korea in the advanced technology sector to diversify its energy-driven industry and overcome the slumping economy hit by low oil prices and international sanctions, the chief of Russia’s state-run technology investor group said Monday.

Anatoly Chubais, CEO of RUSNANO Group, said his company is seeking ways to work with South Korean partners to jointly launch investment projects in the high-technology, optotechnology, shipbuilding and petrochemical industries.

“We’re discussing new opportunities in having Koreans invest in Russia, or invest in the Korean high-tech industry together to create synergy between the two nations,” Chubais said during an interview with Yonhap News Agency.

He is now in Seoul to attend an international forum to be hosted by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute of the United States.

Chubais, an influential member of the Russian government in the 1990s, said the Russian economy will suffer this year due to cheap oil prices and U.S.-led sanctions following “reunification” with Crimea in Ukraine last year, which led to the crumbling ruble and high inflation.

Despite the grim outlook this year, Chubais said, the Russian economy will bounce back next year as a cheaper ruble is expected to bring in more investment and help Russian exporters.

“We expect a restart of economic growth. We believe strong fundamentals in the Russian economy will let us restart the economic growth and slow down the inflation rate,” he said. “The low ruble will make the Russian economy more attractive for the foreign partners.”

While it is still important to maintain stable relations with Western economies, Chubais said Russia is shifting its main focus to Asia for further growth.

“For us now, Asia is the priority … We see huge new opportunities here in Asia, (including) Korea, China, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. Those are the most developed countries in Asia, and we would like to develop our cooperation with them,” Chubais said.

Although Seoul and Moscow currently have close economic relations, the official said he hopes to see an expanded partnership between South Korea’s high-technology sector and Russia’s basic science field to create “mutual benefit” for both countries.

Chubais, who led the large-scale privatization of state-owned assets after the collapse of the Soviet Union, said he will push for the privatization of RUSNANO’s management division within the next two years for more efficient management and expand its global presence via wider partnerships.

Source: Yonhap News Agency, 28.04.2015