Today in Russian Business – Sept 16, 2011

The World Bank imagines the worst-case scenario for Russia’s domestic economy next year as a shrinkage of 1.5%, which, it says, could be caused by any sharp fall in global oil demand.  Deputy economy minister Andrei Klepach has suggested that World Trade Organization membership could damage the Russian economy in the short-term, and more broadly, forecasted that the next decade will show a 4% growth rate – ‘not enough’.  The Kremlin’s Russian Direct Investment Fund, established to encourage private equity and strategic investors, is ready to begin securing deals.  The Kremlin should ease up on its rhetoric against foreign investors, says this Moscow Times editorial, responding to the Regional Development Minister’s likening of them to ‘vacuum cleaners’.  Russian companies will be able to follow through with Gaddafi-approved contracts relating to Moscow’s 2008 writing off of Libya’s $4.5 billion debt, and there is a possibility that further deals could be added under the same agreement.  A trade route from Russia’s Khasan to the North Korean port of Rajin will open next month.  Egypt is sticking to Russian grain.