Monday, May 5, 2008

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America's awesome influence over the G8

From today's Financial Times:

Dan Price, the international economics official at the White House National Security Council, said the Group of Eight rich countries must “lead by example”. Mr Price, one of the key officials preparing for the July G8 summit in Japan, told the Financial Times that the group should issue “a strong . . . statement on open investment and trade policies”. This should be “aimed not only outward but to the G8 countries themselves”.
Also in today's Financial Times:
In one of his last acts as Russian president, Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a long-awaited law restricting foreign investment in 42 “strategic” sectors, including energy, telecoms and aerospace....

Russian officials claim the rules are more liberal than those in many other countries. But some foreign investors have said the list of restricted sectors is too long – by some estimates, accounting for more than half the economy – and that the language leaves too much scope for interpretation.

Analysts also warn that the law leaves the door open for more sectors to be included in the future....

Under the new rules, foreign private investors will have to seek permission from a committee chaired by the Russian prime minister – set to be Mr Putin after he stands down as president this week – to take more than 50 per cent of companies in strategic sectors.

Foreign state-controlled companies will be barred from taking a controlling stake in strategic companies, and will have to seek permission for a stake of more than 25 per cent.

As well as energy, aerospace and defence, sectors defined as strategic include mining, space technology and nuclear energy. “Dominant” fixed-line telecommunications companies are also included.

Broadcast media covering at least half the country are deemed strategic, as are large-circulation newspapers and publishing companies. Some eyebrows were raised at the late inclusion of the fishing industry.

posted by Dan on 05.05.08 at 11:38 PM


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