World Bank to prepare proposals on developing small and medium-sized business in Russia

The World Bank (WB) plans to prepare in 2003 a programme containing specific proposals on developing small and medium-sized business in Russia.

This was disclosed by Julian Schweitzer, WB director for Russia, who made an appearance at the Monday press conference on the opening of the first international forum "Days of Small and Medium-sized Business at the National Exhibition Centre (VVTs, Russian acronym)" in Moscow. The forum is held under the motto: Small and Medium-sized Business, A Behest of Time.

Providing small and medium-sized business with an access to financing is of principal importance, Schweitzer said.

He stressed that the World Bank is especially interested in developing this economic sector whose dynamic growth is one of the major factors of a stable economic growth on the whole.

According to estimates of the forum organisers, in 2001 the number of people employed by small businesses in Russia, including all categories of workers, amounted to 7.4 million. Taking into account individual entrepreneurs, whose number by the beginning of 2002 accounted for 4.5 million, according to the data provided by the Ministry for Taxes and Duties, the overall number of people employed in small business is equal to 11.9 million, which is 16.7 percent of the total number of economically active population.

The World Bank is one of the forum's organisers. The other organisers are the Russian government, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the Social Security Agency, and the Federal Fund for Support of Small Entrepreneurship.

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