Simple Steps to Make Investors Run

There are many guidelines on attracting investment. There are very few on doing the opposite.  But if you are indeed willing to drive away investors from your own market, you can follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Undermine rule of law by selectively nationalizing companies of oligarchs through tax inspections and other financial levers (Yukos). Have your colleagues and trusted friends fill the vacancies in the private and state-owned companies made though these actions.

Step 2: Revoke contracts with major foreign firms over concerns about the environment, and then turn over the same projects to a domestic firm (Shell).

Step 3: Threaten joint ventures between international firms and domestic companies (TNK-BP). Raid the offices of the largest foreign portfolio investor in your country and, to make your point even more clear, deny visas to the fund managers (Hermitage Capital).

Step 4: When a domestic company honors contract prices it has established with foreign firms while charging higher market prices to domestic companies without such contracts, threaten the company with charges of tax evasion (Mechel). This will send the shares of the company, which is listed on foreign stock exchanges plummeting, but this way it will be cheaper to buy in the long run.

Step 5: Refuse to adhere to the clauses in the treaty that stopped the war in the smaller neighboring country. Make inflammatory statements, like the territorial integrity of another nation no longer exists or your ready for a new cold war.

Step 6:  Respond to the foreign policy fallout from a military conflict by withdrawing from negotiations to enter the WTO. Who needs an international framework of rules governing trade anyway?

Now you can just sit back and watch investors’ flee and reconsider future investments in your country all while your domestic market falters in response to increasing political risk.

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