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14 Feb, 2008 16:21

Less inflation, more private, small businesses: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin started his last press conference by addressing the importance of the economic issues. He emphasized the critical need for Russia to do more to fight inflation, cultivate more small business, and said that state corporatio

In his final question and answer session the Russian president went first to economic issues, noting the achievements in GDP growth and investment flows over the last year, but noting once again the blight of inflation and the need for a renewed focus on it.

“We will follow the situation with inflation very closely. This is one of our main problems,” Putin promised.

Looking forward he referred to the increasingly important role of small business and the need to help encourage not just existing small businesses in Russia, but to create an educational and cultural framework which would encourage more Russians to think entrepreneurially.

“Everything that connected with the development of the small business involves problems, with endless checks and corruption. We need to mobilize the population,” Putin said.

Analysts say the main problem is the current corruption that exists on all levels. And that the fight against it is the main task for the government.

Moving on to business of a much bigger variety Putin rejected accusations that creating state companies in key sectors of the economy amounts to state corporatism.

The President stated that the government will continue to pay close attention to the financial markets and that in the future many of the state corporations being created will go to the market and become public.

“It is possible these companies being privatized completely, according to market prices and without damaging the economy,” Putin added.

However, experts doubt this will be a short term issue.

The Presidents comments reflected the profound economic turnaround which has taken place under the stewardship of his presidency. This lays the groundwork on which his successor will continue.