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 is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

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 160 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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Trust in National Jurisdiction as Key to Business Security and Sustained Development
4 June 2021
10:00—11:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The ‘regulatory guillotine’ had a positive effect on the business climate and regulatory environment

Based on our own initiative [...] the moratorium on scheduled inspections of small businesses was extended, which enabled more than 60,000 small businesses to carry out their activities undisturbed. In less than a month [...], the law ‘On State and Municipal Control’ will come into force. It introduces such formats of inspector-entrepreneur communication into the legal field as monitoring procurements, selective control, inspection visits, and others, but what’s important is it’s only with the approval of a prosecutor — Igor Krasnov, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.

Last year was amazing in this sense […] The number of inspections dropped phenomenally, and there was no increase in the number of cases of harm caused to supervised entities […] This suggests that [...] the scope of control and surveillance activities and the number of inspections that were carried out prior to the pandemic were clearly excessive. The number of inspections has decreased, but the harm – the real harm – has not increased — Boris Titov, Presidential Commissioner of the Russian Federation for the Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights.

The fire risk management model that has been developed will make it possible to plan the frequency of control and supervision activities, which will reduce the unreasonable administrative burden on bona fide owners — Aleksey Serko, State Secretary, Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters.

Digital technologies simplify interaction between government agencies and businesses

For the first time, a ban has been imposed on control and supervisory activities without their corresponding registration in the electronic register, which is actually becoming the main mechanism for relations between the controller and the entrepreneur. Digitalization has impacted other issues as well. In the prosecutor’s office [...], a digital platform is widely used to consider appeals from the business community — Igor Krasnov, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.

We largely avoided the paralysis of the system of economic disputes due to the urgent introduction of a system of online hearings […] It still remains important even after the lifting of restrictions on the work of courts [...] Business can take part in economic disputes, including with the government, basically from their own office just by having access to the State Services office, any smartphone, or tablet — Boris Boltyanskiy, Editor-in-Chief, Pravo.ru.

The development of digital technologies has a number of positive aspects that create broad opportunities for the government, society, and business — Arthur Davtyan, General Prosecutor of the Republic of Armenia.

The only types of disputes where the number of lawsuits has decreased are disputes with government agencies […] This is a post-pandemic effect […] and a moratorium on business inspections. And it’s the effect of digitalization because many categories of disputes, particularly those concerning taxes, have almost completely moved into the out-of-court settlement stage. Business engages in a dialogue with the state without coming to courts, thus reducing the burden on the courts — Boris Boltyanskiy, Editor-in-Chief, Pravo.ru.

Trust in the prosecutor’s office has increased

Without [trust], it is very difficult to imagine healthy competition and a favourable investment climate in our country […] I am well aware of the special mission of the prosecution authorities in creating such trust. Above all, it involves ensuring such uniformity in the legal field and law enforcement in the country […] Much depends on the effectiveness of the prosecutors who exercise their supervisory powers. This was particularly felt at the height of the coronavirus pandemic [...] During this period, about 200,000 violations were suppressed — Igor Krasnov, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.

Almost 80% [of entrepreneurs] do not believe it is safe to do business in Russia. 78.6% believe that the law does not provide them with sufficient guarantees against unjustified criminal prosecution […] More than half of entrepreneurs do not trust the judiciary […] As for trust in the prosecutor’s office, it’s surprising, but there is a different trend here. The share of experts who believe that it’s actually necessary to increase the powers of the prosecutor’s office in criminal proceedings and when considering administrative cases has increased from 33% to 54% — Boris Titov, Presidential Commissioner of the Russian Federation for the Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights.

Compliance with the law is in the best interests of business

In the course of our oversight activities, we are seeing an unjustified sharp increase in prices for socially significant goods, food, airfare, tourism products, and certain other services […] Business needs to show respect for the law and other citizens [...] We are willing and will definitely defend such a business — Igor Krasnov, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.

The law and its institutions are the best vaccination against diseases of the economy and business. And it’s important that business understands this tool and is ready to accept this vaccination. A lack of trust in the validity of the law causes enormous harm […] We also have our own conduit – both regulatory […] and educational, and that’s our compliance function [...] Most importantly, we are creating an attitude that it’s beneficial and correct to follow the law — Elena Borisenko, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Gazprombank.

ISSUES
Unfair approach to penalties for violations by controllers and business

Business and controllers have a completely different responsibility […] In 80% of cases, business is immediately fined, and 20% [receives] warnings. When we look at violations by controllers, 20% are fined, and 80% get off with warnings […] This is a subject for oversight – why […] issues concerning punishment are resolved so unfairly and unequally — Boris Titov, Presidential Commissioner of the Russian Federation for the Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights.

Unlawful prosecution of entrepreneurs

There are a lot of violations under the Criminal Procedure Code […] In each set of proceedings, we see that both the investigating authorities and the judges sometimes fail to pay attention to this — Boris Titov, Presidential Commissioner of the Russian Federation for the Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights.

To date, the issue of arresting entrepreneurs remains a serious problem […] At the same time, though, entrepreneurs are very worried when the accounts of their legal entities are seized [...] Despite the fact that the state has come up with a position on the inadmissibility of seizing the current accounts of legal entities, we still [...] see it regularly in the regions, especially in Kemerovo — Victoria Burkovskaya, Partner, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners.

Imperfect system of fines

Fines […] are not differentiated: micro, small, and private individuals all pay the same. It would be fair to differentiate this approach […] Often, when an entrepreneur commits a violation, the current Administrative Code of the Russian Federation has not fully specified whom to fine: the owner or the manager [...] And often it’s both the owner and the executive [who are fined] — Aleksandr Isayevich, General Director, Chairman of the Board, Russian Small and Medium Business Corporation.

SOLUTIONS
Improvements to legislation

It’s impossible to solve all problems manually on the spot. So, it’s important to try to build a system that guarantees uninterrupted observance of the rights of entrepreneurs, above all by adjusting the relevant legal framework — Igor Krasnov, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.

We took the liberty of surveying a major legal consulting firm, which, in their opinion, could radically increase the appeal and competitiveness of the Russian jurisdiction. This, of course, involves imposing a moratorium on changing laws too frequently […] It involves the disclosure of beneficiaries in the event of the failure to pay debt, and not allowing individuals and companies to hide behind a corporate veil […] This involves preventing the bankruptcy of puppet creditors and managers, which is the scourge of bankruptcy procedures. This involves introducing a professional monopoly on court representation, surprisingly, because we know that the legal market has different points of view on this. This involves a long-desired opening for lawyers to gain access to the ranks of judges. [This involves] advertising national non-state arbitration as a means of resolving commercial disputes. And [this involves] the development of inheritance law because this is such a powerful new trend in the problem of the transition of business from founders to heirs — Boris Boltyanskiy, Editor-in-Chief, Pravo.ru.

Starting from 1 March 2022 [...], a founder will be able to transfer part of his/her assets to one or more funds, appoint beneficiaries for each fund [...], or not identify these beneficiaries in advance, but [...] once a year, play a trick or use a competition to identify those who will receive the corresponding income or part of the property — Lidia Mikheeva, President of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation; Chairman of the Board, Research Centre of Private Law under the President of the Russian Federation.

Expand the powers of the prosecutor’s office

Some kind of emergency response mechanism needs to be developed. Then entrepreneurs would be able to seek recourse quickly enough because in such cases a prolonged continuation of the seizure […] could lead to tragic consequences […] The powers of the prosecutor’s office need to be expanded in terms of verifying whether criminal cases are initiated legally [...] Entrepreneurs would like to see a faster reaction from the prosecutor’s office — Victoria Burkovskaya, Partner, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners.

Introduce a preventive approach for working with business

We always talk about when a violation has already occurred […] I think this is the joint task of everyone – to simply tell an entrepreneur what he is violating and what requirements exist. [The entrepreneur’s] job is to do business, and not to study the entire Talmud of requirements and procedures that must be observed […] If an entrepreneur commits a violation, he/she often did not even know that there was such a requirement. There is no intent. We believe it’s important that if an entrepreneur has committed a violation, he/she should be given an opportunity to correct it and not to be fined — Aleksandr Isayevich, General Director, Chairman of the Board, Russian Small and Medium Business Corporation.