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15 Feb, 2008 19:42

Medvedev lays out economic plan

Institutions, infrastructure, innovation and investment have all been singled out as economic priorities by Presidential candidate Dmitry Medvedev, during a key speech in Russia's Krasnoyarsk region.

With the favourite to win Russia’s next presidential election adding some further outline to the economic reforms he has in mind, it wasn’t surprising that numerous business and economic heavyweights made the trip to Krasnoyarsk to hear what he had to say.

They weren’t disappointed with Dmitry Medvedev outlining a range of measures designed to further Russia’s economic future. 
The first major issue he touched on was the need to overhaul legislation and eradicate ingrained bribery and corruption. Medvedev pledged to radically change the way administration functions to help small businesses and entrepreneurs flourish.

“The state should take taxes in such an amount that is needed to provide the existence of society itself and to keep the national business in the country,” he said.

Placing Russia more firmly on the global financial map was in focus, a key part of this being tied to a fully convertible rouble with greater international prominence as a reserve currency.

Analysts say it is achievable, particularly given the current instability in global financial markets and Russia’s sound economic fundamentals.

Nevertheless they note it will require more to be done about inflation, continued fiscal discipline, and more of Russia’s exports being priced in the Russian currency.

Other key areas of the address included tax reductions and simplification, more stimuli for the private sector and better management for state companies.

In general, the address was seen as positive by the business community, but they are now looking for reality beyond the talk and for clear progress in making it all happen.

Roger Munnings, CEO and Chairman of KPMG for Russia and the CIS, joined RT to discuss Dmitry Medvedev's comments.