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Author`s name Michael Simpson

Blair’s Visit to Russia Not In Vain - 22 October, 2002

Great Britain recommences insurance of its political risks in Russia

During his visit to Russia, British Prime Minister Anthony Blair spoke not only about politics, but also about economics. Right before Blair’s visit to Russia, British Secretary for Trade and Industry Patricia Hewitt declared that the British government, the Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD), in particular, recommenced insurance of political risks in Russia.

In accordance with the ECGD press release, Patricia Hewitt said at a session of the British-Russian Intergovernmental Committee for Trade and Investment that ECGD immediately included Russia on the list of countries where investment insurance of foreign trade activity of British companies is applied. This means that Russia is a favorable partner for Great Britain.

Patricia Hewitt said: “I am happy to say that ECGD has an opportunity to provide guarantees on political risks to British investors who consider Russia as a potential partner.” This is another confirmation of the increasing assurance of the Russian market’s economic revival. It is also a result of ECGD’s decision passed last year concerning the restarting of medium- and long-term guarantees on infrastructure projects and on supplies of means of production.

Thus, British investors have once again received a considerable stimulus for investing in the Russian economy. Now, if something happens with British investments, or if British businessmen suffer losses, they have the right to appeal to the ECGD for compensation of the losses. According to the ECGD, the investment portfolio of foreign trade activity insurance increased by 7.5% from 939 million pounds to 1 billion pounds. And it is already clear that the compensation of investment risks that can be paid are rather high.

The ECGD is an official British agency for crediting export operations; it is a governmental structure accountable to the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Patricia Hewitt. It has been cooperating with exporters, project sponsors, and banks for over eighty years.

The ECGD program for investment insurance of foreign trade activity is designed for British companies that invest abroad and for British banks granting loans. The program provides British businessmen with insurance of political risks  up to 15 years.

The ECGD renders assistance in the following sectors: insurance of non-payments to British exporters and support in the organization of financial programs for buyers of Britain’s goods by means of bank loan guarantees. In a word, everything is provided for. Therefore, Russia is currently waiting for British investments.

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