All rise for Kazan Legal!

All rise for Kazan Legal!
An interview with the CEO of Tatarstan Investment Development Agency Taliya Minullina in the lead-up to the International Legal Forum «Kazan Legal»

- On September 14-16, International Legal Forum will take place in Kazan. What is the reason for Tatarstan Investment Development Agency to be the organizer?

- As famous Russian mathematician and inventor Georgy Aleksandrov said, "A lawyer differents from the others in using words as mathematic formulas". Thus, mathematically, according to the latest figures from Forbes, there is the largest inflow of foreign portfolio investment in Russia comparing to other countries with emerging market: more than in China, India, Brazil and Mexico. Resurgence of interest in Russian assets and securities stems both from strengthening of oil prices and expectation of warming of Russian ties with the West. In this context, information on industrial assets and resources concentrated in Russian regions, which flourished rapidly in recent years and the most of investors still have little exposure to it, is of special value.

In large companies, lawyers are often the center for analysis of proposals and making decisions. It is on the basis of the assessment of the legal environment of a country or region, the stability of the legislative system the companies ones make decision on investment cooperation. Our challenge is to prevent the investors be intercepted and make the right decision - Tatarstan, proven itself to be a stable and comfortable region for business.

- The first association with a legal event is long speeches and complicated terminology. Would not the event be boring?

- Frequently, lawyers and counsels follow the classic format of the meetings and working sessions because of the special nature of their duties. But we proposed to set new trends in holding legal activities: interactive sessions, educational workshops and open debates, creative solutions for negotiation and recreation areas. We create comfortable conditions for informal communication and fruitful negotiations without violating official regulations of the event.

In addition, during the program, participants will have an opportunity to become acquainted with the sights and infrastructure of Kazan, economic and investment potential of the Republic of Tatarstan. We have scheduled individual meetings with representatives of large companies which are potential partners and investors. A total of more than 30 sessions, round-tables and briefings will be held during the event.

- Taliya Ilgizovna, what breakout solutions are planned to reach at the Forum?

- Together with our partners we carried out a detailed work on the agenda of the Forum, went away from the standard topics and highlighted the aspects of concern to many enterprises and companies: legal solutions for the territories of advanced development and innovations, management of "smart cities"; legislative regulation of the technologies of the future; industrial safety; risks for doing business in Russia for foreign companies.

The theme of the plenary session of the International Legal Forum «Kazan Legal» will be "The Legal Environment as a Key Factor in Economic Growth" with participation of the leaders of the Republic of Tatarstan, representatives and managers of legal services of the leading Russian and foreign companies. The agenda was not chosen by accident: development of new legal preferences and measures for legal support of business will help Tatarstan to strengthen the status of the leader in investment climate and in future to accelerate the process of making decision to invest in the economy of Tatarstan.

- The Forum is international. Which countries applied to take part in it?

- The geography is pretty broad: it is more than 25 countries. The USA, Great Britain, Panama, Latvia, Germany, Switzerland, France, the UAE, India, Iran, Singapore, Nigeria and Tunisia are among the participants.

- Do you expect the presence of famous lawyers?

- Over 500 people have already confirmed their participation, 60 experts are among them - Chairman of the Board of Association of Lawyers of Russia Vladimir Gruzdev, Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs' Rights Boris Titov, primarily known to us by the intellectual game "What? Where? When?", plenipotentiary representative of the Russian Federation in the Constitutional Court and the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation Mikhail Barshchevsky and, of course, Chairman of "Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners" law office Dmitry Afanasiev, Secretary of State, Deputy Head of FAS Russia Andrey Tsarikovskiy, Deputy Chairman of the Board, Minister for Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission Veronika Nikishina.

President of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice of the Council of Europe Georg Stawa also expressed his interest.

- What about the business, how will it be represented at the forum?

- The key participants and experts are the lawyers of transnational companies and national business giants, including Vice President for Corporate and Legal Affairs of "Mobile Tele Systems (MTS)" PJSC Ruslan Ibragimov, Head of Legal Department of "Moscow Exchange" Alexander Smirnov, Deputy Director General, Head of the Unit of Corporate and Property Relations of "Rosgeo" Mikhail Kazantsev, Head of Legal Affaires of "Rosvodokanal" Dmitry Timofeev, Senior Vice President for Legal and Administrative Affairs of the Skolkovo Foundation Nikolay Averchenko, Vice President for Legal Issues of "TMK" Andrey Zimin.

Among the international experts are Chairman, Senior Partner of RPC (UK, Hong Kong and Singapore) Rupert Boswell, Partner of Hengeler Mueller (Germany) Dr. Christian Schmies, Partner of Macfarlanes (UK) James Popperwell, Partner of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP (UK) Matthew Getz, Senior partner of Magnusson (Sweden) Per Magnusson, Head of Disputes of WOLF THEISS (Austria) Clemens Trauttenberg, Senior Litigation Partner of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (India) Ritu Bhalla, Managing Partner of Advocates Bureau "Yug" Yuri Pustovit, Director and Partner at Advocates Bureau PRK Partners (Czech Republic) Jan Kohout. As you can see, representatives of senior management of brand companies are among the international delegates. This reiterates the heightened interest in the format we have set and the stable and loyal legal environment of Russia.

- How do you estimate the level of the event?

- I have already mentioned one of the experts, Mikhail Barshchevsky, who ones said: "The lawer has only one form of the capital - his reputation". Public registration is opened at KazanLegal official site, but only those who are involved in the global processes receive confirmation of participation. Already, we are witnessing growing hype around the participation.
The event will be supported by the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Advocate Bureau "Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners" having global recognition at the Eurasian space.

- Do you believe lawyers influence a decision on investing?

- The legal environment is a determining factor in competition among countries and regions for investors' money. This is confirmed by the World Bank's Doing Business rating, based on such indicators as enforcement of contracts, protecting the rights of minority shareholders, resolution of insolvency and labor market regulation. In six years, Russia's progress in this rating from 120th to 40th place clearly illustrates the efforts that the government makes to improve the investment environment. Corresponding work is done at the regional level. The key idea of the forum: to show the attractiveness of the Russian jurisdiction for business in general, to indicate the direction for further reforms, to tell about Tatarstan's development strategy and concrete measures to improve investment and business climate, which already helped the region to become the most attractive for investors. In principle, the lawyers of transnational companies know each other and we hope KazanLegal will become the tool for spreading information on investment attractiveness of Tatarstan in their circles.
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