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26 May, 2008 18:06

Small firms call for tax cuts

Russia’s entrepreneurs are calling for a huge reduction in the tax burden on small businesses to help stimulate growth.

The plea was made at a gathering in Moscow of more than 5,000 people involved with the sector from across Russia.

It comes after Russia’s newly elected president, Dmitry Medvedev, promised to help by fighting red tape and corruption.

But business people who gathered in the Kremlin on Monday say it is not enough. They want the tax burden reduced from its current level of 52% to 35% or less.

The business community argues it would help small enterprises – which currently account for 20% of Russia's gross domestic product – catch up with Europe or the United States, where the figure is around 70%. 

In this regard, the Moscow Region is one example of a success, with more small and medium-size businesses than in Finland. But even though they managed to double their turnover last year, they say solid state support is needed.

Dmitry Samoilenko from the Moscow Region administration says: “Most importantly, the state needs to consult small businesses and offer ways of solving our most painful problems. Investments would also be welcomed.”