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

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, 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, 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 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.

The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 173 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 78 countries worldwide, and 179 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.

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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Assessing the Business Environment, Investment Climate, and Investment Potential of the Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation
17 June 2022
10:00—11:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Improved Performance in the ASI Ranking

In spite of these unprecedented difficult times for business and for the regions, the overall composite index rose by ten points last year. This is a very serious increase. It means that we’ve seen improvement in 70% of the indicators that make up the basis for the ranking. Improvement all across the country. [...] This includes an increase in business satisfaction with government support measures, both financial and non-financial. Maybe it’s because of the pandemic that we’ve gotten quicker, more timely, more targeted, and more personal in the way we approach adjustments to the support measures that business needs at this time, at this moment. For the first time this year, we’ve seen scores of 4.5 and 5 on a five-point scale in terms of satisfaction – we have never seen scores like that before — Svetlana Chupsheva, General Director, Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects.

The tasks that await us are shared tasks. [...] We’ve talked about control and oversight. [...] We can see that when we digitise processes, make them transparent, understandable, remove carryover, [...] then [the result is – Ed.] other speeds and a different atmosphere — Andrei Vorobyov, Governor of Moscow Region.

We’re in a difficult situation now, [...] but what if we look at the situation differently and set an ambitious goal - like import substitution or some technological breakthrough. The regions are ready to participate, and we also want to be part of a big strategy that will allow for breakthroughs in very important areas, logistical projects — Andrei Vorobyov, Governor of Moscow Region.

ASI’s Investment Ranking Stimulates Business Development Throughout Russia

The regions [...] have their own specific achievement profile that is having a meaningful effect and increasing investor confidence. It’s really important that this profile is singled out, evaluated, and presented for dissemination and implementation in other regions. In fact, that’s how we improve the quality of the business environment — Andrei Belousov, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

The competition in the [ASI – Ed.] ranking and in the investment climate in the country as a whole has become extremely tight. It’s hard to surprise anyone. I think this is a huge achievement. The point was for all the regions to even out, to smooth out the differences between them, [...] and I think we are heading towards the point where we all end up in first place. When will that happen? When we take first place together with Moscow, and I think that moment isn’t far off. We’re learning from each other, and we’re probably all applying the same mechanisms already — Gleb Nikitin, Governor of Nizhny Novgorod Region.

The regional investment ranking has led to results and proven its effectiveness. Of course, it’s really important to share and learn from the practices employed by colleagues. We study and learn from every regional representative here, and we don’t hesitate to take the best examples and apply them in our work. We share our experiences and practices with others too — Alexey Dumin, Governor of Tula Region.

ISSUES
An Excessive Number of Inspections and Pressure on Business

So far, 20% still talk about an excessive number of inspections and, again, aren’t very satisfied with their interaction with the control and supervisory authorities. […] Nationally, 8% of entrepreneurs complain about their interaction with law enforcement, and in some regions this number is as high as 25-30%. We’ve agreed to provide all of this information for each region to the heads of the law enforcement agencies: the Interior Ministry, the Investigative Committee, the Prosecutor General’s Office, and the Federal Security Service. I hope to be able to work together with the heads of the constituent entities on how to reduce complaints related to pressure being exerted on business — Svetlana Chupsheva, General Director, Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects.

Now about administrative pressure. It was certainly a pleasant surprise for us to move up from 49 to 16. Honestly, it was our weakest position last year. And it was a shame that we did so badly. Between the prosecutor’s office, the team, and the business community, we managed to overcome the problem — Valery Limarenko, Governor of Sakhalin Region.

The Uncertain Situation in the World is a hindrance to Business Development

The past two years have been extremely challenging for business, of course. It’s felt a bit like we weren’t striving to support business, we were striving to come up with new restrictive measures to hinder business. […] Even so, business developed. Business activity never ceased — Radiy Khabirov, Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan.

We are faced with enormous challenges – the pandemic, the sanctions. These conditions are bringing us together and uniting us — Valery Limarenko, Governor of Sakhalin Region.

I think this year it will be much harder, of course, [for everyone to work - Ed.] and not to stay where they are in the ranking or to move in the ranking, but harder for all of us and for business, for regional authorities, and for the federal government. It would be nice if best practices [...] kept us from falling in the regions and helped us reach sustainable growth as quickly as possible — Alexander Shokhin, President, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

Despite generally being very satisfied with support measures, businesses have noted a shortcoming with obtaining credit resources – we’re talking about high interest rates and high collateral. This is an area that also requires some fine-tuning — Svetlana Chupsheva, General Director, Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects.

SOLUTIONS
Stepping up Interaction Between Business, Government, and Regulators

[We have to] work face-to-face with investors and enterprises. Take industry, for example. We have about three thousand enterprises operating in the city. We’ve gone in person to approximately 70% of these companies. Almost all of them experience difficulties in their day-to-day operations, with investment and production, that need to be resolved with the help of the authorities. We launched an industrial support centre this year, a one-stop shop for our industrial enterprises. It helps with everything from more trivial tasks like organising a car park to obtaining permits from the authorities — Vladimir Efimov, Deputy Mayor of Moscow in the Government of Moscow for Economic Policy and Property and Land Relations.

You talk about administrative barriers. [...] We’ve organized the control and supervisory authorities, [...] together with the prosecutor’s office, we’ve structured their work. [...] For business to develop, we need to create the right conditions, — Rustam Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Betting on Investment

Digitalization. [...] When we got the regional minimum wage index out there with a single click – that got business excited. [...] It’s much harder to stay on Olympus [the ASI ranking - Ed.] But […] we’ll all get there one day no matter what. It’s something we’re working towards — Mikhail Razvozhayev, Governor of Sevastopol.

When the sanctions started, we brought together a bank, builders, those involved in the investment infrastructure, and broke each site down. We follow up on a weekly basis now. […] We haven’t lost a single investment project in spite of the situation, and we haven’t lost a single job. We’re currently setting employment records — Valery Limarenko, Governor of Sakhalin Region.

It is crucial at this juncture that entrepreneurs feel confident and at ease. We see it as our main task to carry them like children - we pick them up and carry them forward until they can walk on their own two feet — Vladislav Shapsha, Governor of Kaluga Region.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS