A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation – a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 130 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 70 countries worldwide.

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Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises as a Driver of Economic Growth
5 September 2019
11:30—13:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The government provides financial support for entrepreneurship in the Far East

In the Far Eastern Federal District, financial support for nearly 5,000 business deals has amounted to RUB 97.7 billion. Of these, corporation guarantees amounted to RUB 37.7 billion. By 2024, we must have an annual growth of 25%. <…> By 2024, the accumulated result will be RUB 420 billion at 2–3% below the market rate — Alexander Braverman, Member of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Management Board, SME Corporation.

There is major demand for small loans and microloans in a number of regions. Today, special products have been created for the Far East and new entrepreneurs – up to RUB 500,000 and generally small loans of up to RUB 5 million with an accelerated system of decision-making — Dmitry Golovanov, Chairman of the Board, Member of the Supervisory Board, SME Bank .

In 2016, we developed the programme, Affordable SME Loan. <…> While working with partner banks, we have to date financed <…> 818 loans amounting to more than 18 RUB billion. <…> Now loans can be obtained at a rate of 8.5% — Kirill Kamenev, Managing Director of Investment Department, Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund.

Last year, our SMEs lending grew by 20%, which is approximately RUB 1.5 trillion. This year we expect that the growth rate of lending to SMEs will be twice as high as our average. Average rates are below 10% thanks to support programmes — Anatoly Popov, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, Head of the Corporate Business Block, Sberbank .

Today, our entrepreneurs can go online and gain access to both a guarantee and a loan to fulfil a contract in less than one minute — Vyacheslav Arutyunyan, Acting Chairman of the Management Board, Orient Express Bank.

The risk-based approach has reduced administrative pressure on businesses in the region

If last year we conducted a total of 763 field inspections in the Far East, in the first half of this year we have conducted only 262 inspections. This is the result of the risk-based approach that the service provides based on the opportunities provided by digitalization — Konstantin Chekmyshev, Deputy Head, Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation.

ISSUES
There is a limited share of small and medium-sized businesses in the Far East economy

The absolute number of SMEs indicates that the Far East has enormous potential for growth. The share of small and medium-sized businesses in the Far East economy is still very low — Vadim Zhivulin, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Imperfect regulation and business support systems

Many entrepreneurs complained about the cadastral valuation made in Primorye Territory. It is believed that the cadastral valuation was overestimated by several fold — Alexander Kalinin, President, All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Opora Russia.

The main problem is that we lack objective feedback about what is really happening [in the field of business audits, – Ed.]. Thus, the entrepreneur, when assessing [the situation, – Ed.] does not know whether he is being audited by municipal, regional or federal authorities — Konstantin Bogdanenko, Acting Vice Governor of Primorye Territory.

Our dispersion is very high. Small enterprises have difficulty managing their brand, maintaining regularity, and ensuring quality control. If consolidation <…> is ensured, it creates more opportunities — Andrey Slepnev, Chief Executive Officer, Russian Export Centre .

SOLUTIONS
Streamlining bureaucratic procedures

One important direction <…> is infrastructure support, working with entrepreneurs using the one-stop system. <…> Today, My Business centres are being opened in the Far East — Vadim Zhivulin, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

I also want to mention two other things <…> the online simplified tax system <…> which allows subjects that use a payroll office <…> to interact with the tax system without declaring and maintaining a registry of accounts and expenses. <…> And the recently adopted law abolishing the declaration of transportation and land taxes — Konstantin Chekmyshev, Deputy Head, Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation.

Full online financing is now available in the Far East. <…> Thanks to the Central Bank, which introduced changes to the 590-P, a loan of up to RUB40 million can now be submitted without mandatory reporting — Anatoly Popov, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, Head of the Corporate Business Block, Sberbank .

Expanding self-employment tax

Nearly 180,000 entrepreneurs [registered as self-employed, – Ed.] have appeared. <…> Today, you can use a phone app to pay taxes online <…> and at a very low rate, which is 4% for private individuals and 6% for legal entities — Konstantin Chekmyshev, Deputy Head, Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation.

Until the end of the year, we will apply a federal law giving the Russia’s regions the right to enact such a regime [a self-employment tax, – Ed.] — Vadim Zhivulin, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Introducing a Mirror Registry for inspections

There is an order from Vladimir Putin <…> to create a Mirror Registry on the portal of the SME Business Navigator [to inspect small businesses, – Ed.]. All of us have been and are continuing to be inspected and 94% of these inspections are unscheduled. The Mirror Registry solves three problems. First, we receive feedback and compare everything starting from legal orders or other documents that constitute inspections, culminating in the inspection and challenging it in the courts. <…> We identify the delta, and the response to prosecutorial measures will be immediate. The second problem concerns the violations that were identified during the inspections, which should be analyzed, summarized <…> and the step-by-step measures necessary to prevent further violations should be clearly outlined. We are launching it on 15 October — Alexander Braverman, Member of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Management Board, SME Corporation.

Expansion of measures to support exports

A new measure of support <…> has been enacted by Government Decree No. 512, aimed at supporting enterprises that have export potential. Large manufacturers that already function as exporters can receive investment loans to increase capacity. This is a very important measure, especially for enterprises in the Far East, where the logistical leverage is smaller — Maxim Lubomudrov, Deputy Chairman of the Board, JSC Russian Agricultural Bank.

Systematic development of international cooperation

Today, not only the electronic channels, but also systemic interactions with business associations in other countries are important for small Russian businesses to be export oriented — Alexander Kalinin, President, All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Opora Russia.

We need to acknowledge that Russia and China have different business mentalities, different business models. <…> We must remember that when Chinese investors come to Russia, they want to work with familiar business models — Xue Xulou, Chairman, Association of Heilongjiang Province Entrepreneurs.

Fostering entrepreneurial competence and personnel training

According to research we conducted among small businesses several years ago, the main demand voiced by respondents was greater competence, including how to take one’s business to a new level or how to start a business. <…> These competencies formed the basis of the Business Class programme — Marina Zhunich, Director for Government Relations, Google Russia.

If a new generation does not enter the small business world, there will be no one to move it forward. Today, it is critically important to engage young people in our schools and universities — Alexander Kalinin, President, All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Opora Russia.

The introduction of new SME financial tools

Crowdfunding is more prevalent in the rest of the world than in Russia, and <…> there are Peer-to-Peer platforms. <…> We are confident that these innovative products will start to appear — Andrey Griciuc, Partner, Head of Regional Development, KPMG in Russia and the CIS.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS