Foreign partners complain of big problems in Russia - government chief of staff


PARIS, June 3 (RIA Novosti, Andrei Nizamutdinov) - Russia's foreign business partners are complaining of huge problems they are facing in Russia due to oppressive administrative activities at all levels and they have every reason to complain, Sergei Naryshkin, the Russian government chief of staff, said.

He is attending a seminar on French-Russian partnership development in Paris.

"They have good grounds for complaint, and we have to recognize it," he said. However, an administrative reform is on in Russia, which aims precisely "to remove all obstacles to business progress, put an end to duties doubled [by officials of the various agencies] or at least bring the arrangement down to the minimum, diminish government interference in economic affairs, and reach an overall improvement of terms under which Russian-based and nonresident corporate business is developing in Russia."

The administrative reform is broader than a mere executive personnel reduction, as a widely current public opinion sees it, but has a much greater scope.

"That is merely the top of an iceberg. What is actually going on is purposeful work to smooth up the entire network of federal government unitary companies and government offices."

The administrative reform commission analyzed the performance of 19,000 government offices and 6,500 federal government unitary companies and decided to leave a mere 10,000 offices and 1,500 companies in government ownership. "The rest will be either reorganized, or will be let into the free market, or be disbanded as redundant."

Efforts are on to amend close on 300 legal acts and an even greater number of bylaws, which stipulate dual and redundant functions, Naryshkin added.

Several spokesmen of the French business community highlighted during the seminar an excessively wide range of activities that demanded to be licensed in Russia. The government officer said to that: "License law amendments concern roughly 50 fields in which the state is to have its licensing rights limited."

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