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14 May, 2008 16:04

Medvedev to slash red tape for small businesses

The new President says he has plans to increase the number of small enterprises in Russia. Figures show just 17 per cent of the work force are employed by small businesses, compared to 60 per cent in Europe. Dmitry Medvedev says that isn't good enough. E

President Medvedev has set out measures to cut the administrative burdens of small firms, a move welcomed by Business leaders.

He's proposed that in future unscheduled inspections will only be carried out at the request of the prosecutor. In 2007 alone, about 20 million inspections were made at Russia’s small enterprises (SMEs) – amounting to several checks per year for each company.

Boris Titov, the Chairman of All Russia Business Union ‘Delovaya Rossiya’ says cutting both graft and red tape are the most difficult tasks.

“The most difficult problem on the way of development of SMEs in Russia is administrative pressure and corruption. This is a problem that is admitted by the State. And we together – business and the government – are trying to find right ways to prevent this in the future – to fight corruption,” he said.  

There have been a number of false starts aimed at improving life for entrepreneurs, so businesses will wait anxiously to see if this time will be different.

Bright advertisements encouraging people to set up their own businesses can be seen all over Moscow. But in order for these slogans to produce real results, the Russian government has to cut red tape for aspiring small businesses – something it has failed to do in past years.