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President Vladimir Putin met with members of the organising committee of the Delovaya Rossia parliamentary association

October 16, 2001, The Kremlin, Moscow

They discussed small and medium-sized business in this country.

The President said that private enterprise was developing in the sectors which used to be loss-making under the plan-based economy, i.e., trade, tourism and the food industry.

Mr Putin said much had been done to eliminate bureaucracy in the economy, but there were unsolved problems, in particular in the taxation sphere. He said the Ministry for Taxes and Dues and the Economic Policy Ministry were drafting a package of proposals on these issues.

The President expressed certainty that Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation would benefit the country’s economy. He said Russia regarded its accession to the WTO as an important task but realised that many Russian commodities could not compete with other countries’ goods on the market. Mr Putin’s advice to Delovaya Rossia’s representatives was to consider international cooperation of small and medium-sized businesses.

Personnel training was another problem faced by small and medium-sized businesses. The President noted that the Government and the business community should pay more attention to this issue.

October 16, 2001, The Kremlin, Moscow