EXPERT OPINION

Alexandr Voloshin

Head of the Working group on establishing the International financial center in Russia under the Presidential Council for the Financial Market Development

Sberbank’s plans to develop Rublevo-Arkhangelsk as an urban centre are complementary to the work we have been undertaking for many years already. We believe it will become one of the key hubs of the the Moscow International Finance Centre, and will go some way towards fulfilling a very important task – that being the creation of a high quality, comfortable and attractive urban environment for global professionals. Moscow is currently in this sense far from ideal for a globalised financial community: traffic is not entirely predictable, there is a lack of navigation in English, and the city is insufficiently open and transparent for foreigners. We are already working on solving these problems, but the job of creating a comfortable urban environment within a standalone urban development is evidently simpler than doing the same across the whole city.

Why is the quality of urban environment so important for the Moscow Finance Centre? The financial industry, like other contemporary service sectors, is dynamic, and competition is global: people and organisations choose where to conduct their business, and move easily from country to country. So the question of creating a comfortable regime for employees of the new economy is so much more critical than, for example, with the extractive industries, which are limited by geography.