Loans may be Russian small business saviour

Russia's ministry of economic development and trade has presented a favourable review of the Russian economy in 2007, but says more needs to be done for small business.

Summing up the ministry's work and major achievements, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina mentioned GDP growth of 7.6%, investment inflow increasing 20% to reach $US 45 billion, and revenue growth of 10%.

However, Nabiullina said high inflation was last year's major economic failure, coming in at nearly 12% instead of the planned 8%.

The Minister also pointed out that encouraging small business should become a key government priority, and that to do this the credit system should be expanded significantly.

“We expect the amount of bank loans to exceed 14% by the year 2011, currently bank credits make only 9.4% of all investments. Small business needs more than $US 40 billion dollars of credit resources, while it gets only $US 10 billion,” Nabiullina said.