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News Briefing following a Meeting of the Russian Government’s Consultative Council on Foreign Investment

March 13, 2000, President Hotel, Moscow

Question: The Consultative Council has discussed today the key issues related to foreign investment. In your opinion, which of them have priority for the improvement of the investment climate in Russia?

Vladimir Putin: We have discussed the issue for a long time today, and our colleagues put forth their ideas. As I have already said, it is our twelfth meeting of this kind over a short period of time. We considered many of the proposals made during our earlier cooperative effort. But if we talk about the main thing, the most important measures to improve the investment climate, I must certainly mention several factors.

First of all, we must guarantee the right of property. It is a golden rule and it will certainly be observed. Second, we will continue working to improve the Russian tax laws and the banking system. We will make efforts to ensure equal conditions for all market operators. Another related problem is combating crime and corruption. Actually, all of the above fits into the concept of making Russia stronger and its government more effective. I think there is a lot more to the issue; but here I have just briefly mentioned the key factors which can improve the investment climate in Russia.

March 13, 2000, President Hotel, Moscow