Now, on to the news mentioned by President Putin during the Sochi summit. Russia is now in the top 30 in the World Bank's Doing Business rating. The related annual report by the World Bank was published today.
Let's explain what it means with our analyst, Tatyana Remezova.
- Tatyana, as I remember in 2012, Russia held the 120th place in the rating. Today we hold 28th place; in other words, we moved up almost 100 places in seven years.
- Yes, Ernest, surely, progress is being made here. But let's recall that in 2012, the president set a task to reach 20th place. We still have work to do.
The World Bank's Doing Business rating shows how easy it is to run a business in a particular country. It rates 190 countries and has 10 criteria. Starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, getting credit, paying taxes.
This year, they mentioned three reforms in Russia. Faster connections of businesses to the power grid; here, Single Window is very handy. Stronger protection of minority investors, and simpler taxation, thanks to the faster VAT refunds.
Maksim Oreshkin, Minister for Economic Development: "The further we go, every step is harder, because we are now among the strongest countries in terms of a supportive investment climate, in terms of ease of administrative procedures and costs. That's why moving forward is harder and harder. But still, we ought to aim for the top".
- By the way, who is the current top? With whom will we compete from now on?
- Let me introduce the top five. They're New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Denmark, and South Korea. Twentieth place, which we want so much, is currently occupied by Finland. Russia is the best among the BRICS countries. And let's see who we are ahead of. We're ahead of Japan, Spain, China, and even France.
However, the most important part is not the charts and the ratings, but for businesses to see and feel all these improvements and simplifications.
Maksim Oreshkin, Minister for Economic Development: "The latter is the main goal of our national project "Small and Medium-sized Businesses". Simplifications of administrative procedures, costs, is what primarily affects small and medium businesses. For small and medium businesses, this paperwork is an obstacle that can often lead to bankruptcy. Sometimes they can't handle a procedure, administrative costs are too high, which leads to losses, etc, etc. That's why overcoming administrative and regulatory barriers in our economy is the goal of this project. We have gluten and sugar-free brownies".
Ulyana Yuryeva started her confectionery business three years ago. Fist confectionery fairs, then she started selling online. A year ago, she opened her own selling points, the last two of which she registered entirely online. She recalls the nightmare of paperwork with a smile. Now, doing business is much easier.
Ulyana Yuryeva: “Online cash registers are super convenient. With my app, I can see our four cash registers at the same time, what sales each register had. The tax authorities can see these sales as well. Everything is clear and transparent.”
The World Bank takes only Moscow and Saint Petersburg into account. But we all wish to have easy and pleasant business in all of Russia.
- Indeed, a goal to aim for. Thanks, Tatyana. At your service was Tatyana Remezova, our analyst.