Medvedev predicts bright future for small business
The number of small businesses in Russia has increased by about 20 per cent over the past decade. But being small poses some big problems. Recent survey of Small Business Association, Opora, points out the main difficulties that face the entrepreneur. ( RT )
"Problem number one is infrastructure, especially, obtaining electricity supplies. Problem number two is human resources. And problem number three is the tax system which is still not adequate, simple and innovative enough to support the existing enterprises and create new ones," Vladislav Korochkin, Opora Vice-President, said.
Analysts estimate that small businesses in Russia account for 13 to 15 per cent of the country's GDP while in many Western countries this figure stands at 50 to 70 per cent. Yet, the Russian government hopes to close the gap within a decade or so.
"The development of small and middle-sized businesses is in fact the development of the middle class. These things are absolutely symmetrical. Our goal is, by 2020, to bring the number of middle-class Russians to 60 or 70 per cent of the population. That means that the number of small and medium-size enterprises should grow at about the same rate," President-Elect, Dmitry Medvedev, said.
Dmitry Medvedev is said to be among the initiators of Wednesday's meeting, which leaves some industry insiders hopeful that under his administration small businesses would gain greater prominence.
But some experts like Dmitry Butrin, a journalist for a leading business daily Kommersant, doubt the government's attention to this issue will be long-lived.
"As far as I can recall, we have had 7 of such meetings over the past decade. So the problems of small businesses are discussed quite regularly but this brings little result," Dmitry Butrin said.
Having your own business is usually referred to as the American dream but for some Russians, it's become a true nightmare. Taxes, inspections, licenses - with all of that, you barely have time to attend to your regular work. So when you ask businessmen what kind of assistance they expect from the government, they usually say the best help would be no help at all.