Russia remains a strong market with a wealth of opportunities despite growing concerns that the political system in the country is breeding dissent among the population, Joe Jimenez, CEO at Novartis told CNBC's “ Squawk Box Europe ”.
“The government has said that it would like to invest in and develop the pharmaceutical sector and help diversify away from oil and dependency on oil. We see big opportunities here, it’s a growing market. That’s part of the reason this government is so receptive to companies like Novartis investing here,” Jimenez said.
Vladimir Putin was re-elected as President in controversial elections earlier this year and public protests continue against the political establishment but Jimenez said while Putin’s influence would still be significant and issues remain, they would have little impact on the market.
“We are here for the long term so it’s not going to be smooth and a straight line. It’s going to bumpy at times. If you fundamentally believe this is a good market for healthcare and pharmaceuticals you have to be here,” he added.
“We’re expanding in three areas, we’re building a state of the art pharmaceutical plant here in St Petersburg. We’re working on collaborations with universities, and we have a public health program in the regions,” Jimenez said.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page