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Southern Russia’s international links survive the crisis

On 20 December, the management of Center-invest Bank held their traditional meeting with diplomats. Chairman of the Board of Directors of Center-invest Bank, Dr. Vasily Vysokov, updated the diplomats on the bank’s performance and southern Russia’s economic results. He also spoke about the bank’s projects to promote international cooperation.

The meeting was attended by B.M. Gokzhayev from the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry; V.A. Moskalenko, the Consul General of Ukraine; S.I. Matuk from the Belarusian Embassy; A. Angel, the acting Consul General of Romania; A.N. Son, the Honorary Consul of South Korea; S.V. Kislov, the Honorary Consul of France; and representatives of the Armenian and Slovakian embassies. The attendees expressed their interest in expanding trade with southern Russia on the basis of Center-invest Bank’s technologies and approaches. They also participated in a discussion of southern Russia’s prospects at a time of crisis on global markets.

In 2011, despite the volatility on global markets, lending by Center-invest Bank to finance modernization projects was up almost 1.5 times; Moody’s upgraded our international rating to Ba3; we successfully issued Center-invest Bank bonds, and we continued to run our social and educational projects. From this, it is clear that Center-invest Bank’s sustainable development business model is delivering meaningful results.

Center-invest Bank has been successfully financing international trade projects and playing an active role in international forums and conferences. For example, in autumn 2011, together with the Russian Chamber of Trade and Industry, we brought the Russia-India-China (RIC) Business Forum to Rostov-on-Don. We also worked together with International Finance Corporation to set up an Energy Efficiency Centre. Based at Center-invest Bank, this unit has already trained bankers from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in lending for energy efficiency and agribusiness projects.

We also completed the “Window on Europe” project, a collaboration between Center-invest Bank, Euro Info Centre and Center-Internet LLC. The project resulted in the creation of a database of 50,000 SMEs in the Rostov region, encompassing 23 types of economic activity. The database, which is available in five languages, allows companies to use the Internet to find a partner in southern Russia.

On behalf of foreign companies doing business in southern Russia, Mr Gokzhayev thanked Center-invest Bank for providing high-quality international trade services and for helping Russia to maintain and develop its external economic relationships and international cooperation.

The management of Center-invest Bank, Mr Gokzhayev and the consuls all agreed to work together to develop trade links.