Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund [Photo provded to China Daily]
Editor’s Note: The Communist Party of China has just concluded its 19th National Congress in Beijing. China Daily asked business leaders from major multinational companies for their views on economic developments here and the country’s global leadership role.
Kirill Dmitriev is CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund with reserved capital of $10 billion under management.
What do you feel has been China’s biggest achievement during the past five years and its most notable change?
The country is now holding important global events such as the Belt and Road Forum, and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit, as well as last year’s G20 meeting. This illustrates China’s prominence on the world stage.
China has also been quick to focus on technology and science, and has already become one of the world’s leading innovators. Chinese scientists have made great strides in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (the most common cause of dementia).
The country has even unveiled plans for a Chinese-designed supercomputer, proving that the world’s second largest economy is now a major force in technology and innovation.
What is the biggest challenge China faces and how can the country overcome it?
There are concerns about protectionist moves by the United States, which could affect Chinese trade. This in turn would impede the recovery in trade volumes across the world.
It is important for China to keep expanding its trading horizons by diversifying its partners. Indeed, Russia and China are growing closer together, and this will benefit both nations.
Could China’s experiences and practices be used to solve global problems?
China has always had the ability to adapt and innovate and these qualities should be replicated on the world stage.
The country is a haven for businesses from all over the world, and this openness and willingness to work with diverse nations is something that the RDIF (Russian Direct Investment Fund) and Russia are putting into practice.
To be more precise, the rising role of the renminbi, or yuan, in global trade is an inevitable trend.
It will benefit the world economy in general, and relations between China and Russia in particular. Of course, we need to stimulate trade and investment between our nations in local currencies.
This idea became a cornerstone of our latest breakthrough initiative, which is the partnership with the China Development Bank. We agreed to create the China-Russia RMB (Renminbi) Investment Cooperation Fund. It will help establish a framework for direct investments with settlements in national currencies.
What factors will boost Chinese growth this year and in 2018?
Despite a number of challenges, the Chinese authorities have responded quickly to stabilize the economy.
By doing this, China has bolstered the global economy and played a major role in stimulating growth.
The Belt and Road Initiative, for example, is a positive step forward, and strengthens trade and investment ties with regional and global neighbors.
In addition, the Chinese authorities took crucial steps at the start of this year to restrict capital outflows. This has proved successful and allowed the country to rebuild its foreign exchange reserves. A tightening of liquidity also helped the yuan reverse last year’s depreciation. In recent months, the currency has strengthened against the US dollar.
What are the most innovative trends and products in China?
Advances in the field of automation, such as the interactive robot Jia Jia, which was unveiled (last year by the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, capital of Anhui province), are truly astounding. At the same time, plans for a supercomputer are also very impressive.
The country is known as a global manufacturing giant, but what will be the nation’s “calling card” in the future?
The country is still developing. As it grows and matures, it will not be known for having just one “calling card”. Instead, it will have a global “phone directory”.