Russian Small &
Enterprises Forum


Vladimir Putin congratulates businessmen on Entrepreneur’s Day

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at the opening ceremony of the tenth business forum of Business Russia Public Organization, congratulated businesspeople on Entrepreneur’s Day and addressed several wishes to them.

In particular, President Putin believes that “it is necessary to attract as many enterprising people of action as possible to manufacturing business; these are people willing to assume responsibility for their business and teams. Society and government are interested in the emergence of numerous successful and promising companies; their start could be a worthy response to the daunting challenges faced by the Russian economy right now.”

Furthermore, Vladimir Putin called upon exporters to make use of rouble devaluation and sanctions.

“You have to operate in a falling market in a difficult situation. In the meantime, and you are well aware of it, rouble exchange rate fluctuations increase the pricing competitiveness of domestic products and open a window of opportunities for capturing new niches under your control both on the national and international levels. However, it should be understood that such opportunities can be limited in time and they need to be used wisely and quickly, in order to increase non-raw material export,” he noted.

President Putin also called upon domestic entrepreneurs to develop the national market vigorously.

“Our partners in some countries will recover their clear vision and repeal the sanctions. What shall we do then? We’ll have to respond somehow, or we’ll end up in a rather challenging competitive environment within the WTO. While this is not the case yet, we should take a strong line,” stated the President. Vladimir Putin also said he thinks it is pointless to substitute all imported goods.

“Import substitution is not a cure-all and we are not going to substitute all import: it makes no sense and would be a folly.”

According to the President, this should be done only “where our own particular competence can either be revived or re-created.”

The President also remarked that a unified Russian Export Center geared towards medium business is being formed at the present time. The Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), along with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, is working on the creation of an ‘investment lift’ for mid-size companies with growth and export expansion potential. At the session of the ASI Supervisory Board to be conducted on May 27, the President will receive a report on progress in this area.

In addition, Vladimir Putin reminded the participants about the results of the State Council meeting held on April 7. One of its decisions was to establish a unified authority on the basis of the Credit Guarantee Agency and the Russian Bank for Small and Medium Enterprises Support. The President assured participants that the work of developing small and medium business would continue. “I’d like to repeat that we are prepared to consider other additional measures to assist Russian business. And we certainly expect some specific proposals from the entrepreneurial community to this effect,” said Vladimir Putin.

In conclusion of his speech, the President designated the key areas for further joint work: personnel training; introducing contemporary professional standards; developing the system of professional and vocational education; following the queries of manufacturing industries; the social realm and treading the path of integrating the educational space and production policies.

Date to remember: on May 26, the Tenth Jubilee Business Forum of Business Russia “Working Proactively” has taken place. The main topics of the business forum were import substitution, supporting the export of Russian companies and developing competition in government procurements.

Participating in the forum was President of OPORA Russia Alexander Kalinin.

The full report verbatim of Russian President’s speech can be found on the website Kremlin.ru.