Non-governmental regulation of the Russian economy
Like most other world countries, Russia has actively operating non-governmental economic unions and organizations designed to protect their members’ interests in most different areas. These organizations are an important driving mechanism for cooperation between the business community and the authorities, and the place where the business community maps out its policy in specific economic areas. The biggest and most active Russian NGO’s in many respects determine the situation in the Russian economy. Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) It is Russia’s most authoritative and influential non-governmental economic organization, which has more than 5,000 members representing business communities of all Russian regions. It also includes 100 branch unions and corporate associations. The RUIE was established on December 19, 1991. Today, enterprises headed by RUIE Bureau members account for over 60 percent of the Russian GDP. The main goal it put before itself at its inception was to protect the domestic industry and save it from a collapse. It can be said that the organization made a definite contribution to and in a certain measure mitigated the consequences of the market transition for the Russian economy. It became clear in 1992-93, when enterprises began to be converted to joint-stock operation, that a big number of managers ceased to be responsible to the work collectives and unions. Then, in the mid-1990s, the RUIE became an employers organization. To quote its permanent head, Arkady Volsky, the RUIE professes the philosophy of social partnership. Currently, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs enjoys a very solid reputation, so much so that it is even called Russia’s chief lobby. It has created stable channels for cooperation with the authorities whereby it puts through and defends its position on the most important economic problems. Suffice it to say that the Bureau had three meetings with President Vladimir Putin last year. Its members are put without fail on all governmental commissions. Over the last two years, the Union managed to obtain important decisions related to the Tax and the Labor Codes (then in process of being developed), to the pension reform, and to removing many obstacles that impeded efforts to attract investments to the real sector of the economy. The RUIE is a permanent participant in and the organizer of the national contest for best Russian enterprise. The policy it pursues makes it possible to combine a very liberal economic approach with an active defense of domestic enterprises. For example, RUIE members are active in advocating currency market liberalization, reduction of the tax load, and accession to the WTO. At the same time, they upheld amendments to the Law on Production-Sharing, which considerably improved the position of the Russian enterprises. The RUIE is engaged in drawing up its own proposals on the reform of the gas market, the railways, the power industry, and some other industries. On these matters, its members give the Government broad-scale consultative aid. Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) The Chamber of Commerce and Industry was created in 1991. It keeps the register of Russian enterprises, accredits foreign firms, and annually sends to the President, the Federal Assembly, and the Government a message with proposals on how to develop the economy and business enterprise. The Chamber unites more than 20,000 enterprises and comprises 155 regional chambers, 14 missions abroad, the International Commercial Arbitration Court, the Maritime Arbitration Commission, and the Court of Arbitration. Until recently, however, in spite of this important status, the organization was mostly known for its commercial pageants. The CCI has failed so far to make a perceptible contribution to the legislative process or economic development, a circumstance due to the specific features of the Russian economy, dominated as it was by big monopolies and producers of raw materials.
There was a change of guard at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry not so long ago, with Yevgeny Primakov, former Prime Minister and major politician, appointed as its head. In keeping with its plans announced shortly afterwards, the CCI aspires to some very considerable powers, including the right to move legislation. Given the successful implementation of its ambitious plans, the CCI may become a real link between enterprises and all arms of power. Moreover, the emphasis is going to be on small and medium businesses, particularly those in non-primary and non-export sectors, which, unlike, for example, oil companies, have hitherto found it much more difficult to reach the echelons of power. As is assumed, the Chamber will also have the right to examine the entire economy-related body of legislation. On top of that, the Economic Development and Trade Minister, Gherman Gref, declared that his Ministry was ready to hand over to the CCI its legal monitoring and licensing functions. If all the said goals get realized, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry is likely to become this country’s most influential non-governmental institution. It has the right qualifications too: missions in every region and abroad, an influential leader, well-trained personnel, an information base, and broad powers. Association of Russian Banks (ARB) The circumstance that prompted Russian commercial banks to form an independent organization of their own was a rapid growth in their numbers as early as the late 1980s. What, for example, was a mere 25 commercial banks nationwide in 1988 shot up to 137 already the next year. It was at the same time that the need arose for the collective defense of interests. The year 1989 saw the creation of the Moscow Banking Union, as well as similar unions in other major cities. There was a congress of RSFSR-based commercial and cooperative banks held in Moscow on March 27 and 28, 1991, which established the Association of Russian Banks and approved its Charter. Sixty-five banks officially acceded to it as members. As of today, the ARB comprises 641 commercial banks and organizations, or 75 percent of Russia’s banks and subsidiaries. The ARB members own 75 percent of the registered authorized capital of the operating credit organizations and over 80 percent of all assets of the Russian banking system. Russia’s 30 biggest banks are ARB members too. Experts recognize the Association as one of the most influential public professional alliances. The ARB was directly involved in the creation of a number of other organizations, such as the National Stock Association, the National Monetary Association, and the National Payment Card Association. A specific feature of the Russian banking system is the fact that the state-controlled Sberbank accounts for 75 percent of the total holdings and that the national money hoard is in the environs of 40 billion dollars. The ARB sees attracting those funds to the commercial bank sphere and reapportioning the share of deposits in the state and the private bank sectors as one of its main goals. In this connection, the Association is seeking to put through the legislature a bill on state guarantees of private commercial bank deposits. The ARB is also actively involved in efforts to reform the Russian banking system, filing motions. For example, it has drawn up a project and suggested to the Government that it create a national credit cooperative system, which would make it possible to improve credit services provided to small businesses, particularly rural cooperatives. This is of special importance in connection with the forthcoming obligatory enlargement of the authorized bank capital as envisaged by the reform, in consequence of which many small banks will cease to exist. One of the most important missions the Association pursues is cooperation with the Central Bank of Russia in phasing out the aftermath of the 1998 crisis and restoring the full-blooded national banking structure.
All Russia Public Organization “Business Russia” (Delovaya Rossiya) The All Russia Public Organization “Business Russia” was registered by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 14, 2001. It draws its membership mostly from the medium business community. The main goals of Business Russia as declared in its programmatic documents are the following: - establishing in Russia a strategic alliance between the business community and the state under the condition that a liberal state policy is persisted with; - creating a favorable business climate in Russia, developing the domestic market and conditions for foreign economic activities; - speeding up Russian economic development; - improving the living standards in Russia and attaining a social and political stability, which will become a guarantee of irreversibility of the democratic changes in society. Business Russia concentrates on dealing with the following tasks: Overcoming the disunity of entrepreneurs. Business Russia intends to play the role of a consolidating force capable of formulating clearly a Russian business strategy, inculcating in the entrepreneurs an awareness of the common interests, and pooling their resources for the attainment of common goals. Securing the stability of the rules of the game in the economy, and predictably favorable conditions for business enterprise. Business Russia intends to focus on the problem of predictability of conditions for the entrepreneurial activities and will press for the introduction of real legislative guarantees of “non-deterioration” of the rules of the game during a definite period. Disseminating the civilized business standards. Business Russia sees as one of its priorities the development of organizations tailored to assist self-regulation of the entrepreneurial activities, as well as public associations designed to work to improve business standards and promote business ethics. Deregulating the economy and removing conditions propitious for corruption. Business Russia supports governmental actions directed at restricting the official influence on the entrepreneurial activities, but favors more radical measures. The debureaucratization is a more effective anticorruption method than the toughening of reprisals. Defending the rights of creditors and owners. Business Russia intends to press for the phasing out of those defects of legal regulation and judicial practice, which enable disregard for the interests of creditors and owners. Creating a fair competitive environment. Business Russia will press for improvements in the anti-monopoly legislation and a reform of the judicial system and the bankruptcy mechanism in order to cut short the practice of their employment as means of dishonest competition. Creating a civilized land market. Business Russia is for the free buying and selling of land, given a restricted turnover of certain types of land areas. Securing real guarantees of rights to the results intellectual work. Business Russia thinks it necessary to remove gaps in the state regulation, which impede an effective fight against intellectual robbery, as well as to supplement the state regulation of this sphere with an efficient control on the part of self-regulating business organizations. Reforming the tax and the customs systems. Business Russia’s position is that it is necessary to remove the defects of the tax and customs regulation that are at variance with the principle guiding the reform of both systems, i.e. to make them simpler. Along with reducing the overall fiscal load, it is necessary to provide state guarantees of stability of the tax and customs regulation. Upholding the interests of the Russian business community in the foreign markets. Business Russia is for taking into account the Russian business community’s long-term interests abroad as
efforts are made to shape the state foreign policy strategy. Opposing high-handedness practiced on behalf of the state. Business Russia thinks it necessary to create legal obstacles to high-handed attitudes displayed by individual officials on behalf of the state, specifically, violation by the state of its financial obligations. Developing the middle class. Business Russia is capable of placing some substantial influence on the process of formation of the middle class, because a considerable part of members of this social category are engaged in business, and because Business Russia’s basic values and the tasks it tackles conform to the interests of the middle class. Developing small and medium business. Business Russia proceeds from the assumption that in countries with advanced market economies small and medium business performs indispensable economic and social functions. Among other things, it fills numerous “pockets” in the market, which form between spheres of activity of major companies, and is a factor of social stability. The constituent congress of the All Russia Public Organization “Business Russia” was held in Moscow on October 17, 2001, with 250 delegates from 53 regions of Russia endorsing its Charter and programmatic theses and electing its guiding bodies. The Congress elected Igor Lisinenko, State Duma deputy and founder of the May Tea Company, as chairman of the All Russia Public Organization “Business Russia.” The co-chairmen are: Andrei Korkunov, general director, Odintsovo Confectionery Factory; Valerian Popkov, president, Uralvneshtorgbank (Uralic Foreign Trade Bank); Sergei Turta, chairman, Board of Directors, Mosgorreklama (Moscow City Advertising Agency); Valery Fadeyev, editor-in-chief, Expert magazine. The Organizing Committee includes 20 politicians and representatives of the business community: Vladimir Bogdanov (Surgutneftegaz), Taimuraz Bolloyev (Baltika Brewery), Vladimir Golovnyov (Vostok-Service), Oleg Gorbulin (Russian Academy of Business and Entrepreneurship), Boris Zverev (MMT), Vyacheslav Kantor (Akron), Natalya Kasperskaya (Kaspersky Laboratory), Boris Kuzyk (New SPC Programs and Concepts), Sergei Leontyev (Probusinessbank), Igor Lisinenko (State Duma deputy, founder of the May Tea Company), Andrei Likhachyov (Lenenergo), Vladimir Melnikov (Gloria Jeans), Sergei Mulin (association of metallurgical and aircraft plants, AT-Alliance), Sergei Nedoroslev (Kaskol Group), Marina Pereverzeva (Almaz-press), Igor Potapenko (Razgulyai-UKRROS), Viktor Semyonov (State Duma deputy, ex-director, Belaya Dacha agro-industrial company), Mikhail Smirnov (MTS), Valery Fadeyev (Expert), Yevgeny Yuryev (ATON), David Yakobashvili (Vimm-Bill-Dann). Address: 4/bd.1 Ukhtomsky pereulok, 111020 Moscow. Telephones: (095) 234-04-50 (095) 234-04-60 (095) 234-33-22 (095) 360-36-43
Businessmen’s Associations in Russia The shaping of the system of corporate unions in Russia, which local businessmen had been calling for over the past few years, is nearing completion. Operating in the country at present are the Union of Industrialists and Businessmen headed by Arkady Volsky, Business Russia led by Igor Lisinenko, the Association of Business Organizations of Russia, the Business Development headed by Ivan Grachyov, Mobilization and Development headed by Lev Chernoi, and Association of Russian Managers led by Dmitry Zelenin. These associations, which initially declared their intention to represent the interests of Russian business as whole, gradually concentrated each on a separate segment of this field of public activity. In particular, the Union of Industrialists and Businessmen mainly lobbies business interests in the corridors of power and comprises big businessmen for the most part. Business Russia and Business Development work with middle business and the Association of Business Organizations of Russia with small business, defending its practical needs. Mobilization and Development positions itself as a brain trust concerned over the strategic aspects of Russian business development and pays considerable attention to increasing national research and innovation capability. Non-Profit Partnership “All-Russian Union of Business Associations” The Non-Profit Partnership “All-Russian Union of Business Associations (ARUBA)” was established on September 18, 2001, at the initiative of more than fifty public entrepreneurial organizations. Its aim is to consolidate the efforts of public organizations formed by the small and medium business community with the purpose of representing and defending the interests of Russian entrepreneurs in a dialogue with the state authority at all levels. To achieve their goals the partners think it possible to do the following: - To create mechanisms for participation in the drafting of enactments at all levels in what it concerns the interests of the Union members. - To create mechanisms for public examination of decision-making at all levels of state administration. - To participate in the effort to draw up methods of removing the economic basis of corruption. - To inculcate in the public mind a view on the civic society as a totality of interests of the entire population of the Russian Federation. To assist maturation of the middle class on the basis of the best traditions of Russian entrepreneurship and Russian business culture. - To inculcate in the public mind an awareness of the constructive role of entrepreneurship as a source of material benefits for society and its citizens. To inculcate in each entrepreneur the basics of business ethics. - To develop the main principles of and mechanisms for support of entrepreneurship.
- To convey to the authorities the objective information about the state of the government administrative system in the small and medium business area, the efficiency and consequences of decision-making, and the current legal and juridical requirements of business operation. - To participate in developing the mechanisms for an efficient execution of laws. - To support business activity, the high social and legal status of entrepreneurs, and the prestige of entrepreneurial activities. To defend the interests of business representatives in their dealings with the bodies of state power and local self-government. - To aid the creation of full-blooded market structures and mechanisms. To bring about a change in attitudes to property. To ensure freedom of business enterprise in conformity with the effective legislation. - To aid the creation of the necessary legal and social guarantees of independent business activity in the market conditions. - To create conditions for self-development of the entrepreneurial initiative via a system of silffinancing and financial mutual aid. - To assist in the forming of a united, open information space of Russia’s entrepreneurial community. To fulfil its stated goals and tasks, ARUBA, through its bodies or authorized representatives, intends to do the following: - to represent and defend the interests of small and medium business as well as those of the Union members in the bodies of state power and local self-government; - to organize business schools, training centers and other educational establishments; - to give organizational and legal aid to business associations; - to establish mass media, to engage in advertising and publishing; - to carry out the independent public examination of legislative bills and managerial decisions on matters of business enterprise, scientific, tax, financial and credit policies, as well as plans and programs of social and economic development; to represent entrepreneurs in social partnership agreements, etc. The guiding body of the Non-Profit Partnership “ARUBA” is its Presidium. The Presidium is headed by three Presidium Co-chairmen elected by the Presidium from among its members. The ARUBA Presidium Co-chairmen are: - Katyrin Sergei Nikolayevich (Vice-President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation); - Joffe Alexandr Davidovich (President, Russian Association for Small and Medium Business Development; Chairman, Public Expert Council on Small Business under Mayor and Government of Moscow);
- Smekalova Dina Petrovna (General Director, Scientific and Production Association “Blokform;” head, Business Club, Vladimir). The Union Council is a standing collegiate deliberative body providing for the representation of and cooperation between territorial, branch and other entrepreneurial organizations with the purpose of drawing up recommendations on the main directions of work pursued by the Union and working out the position of its members regarding the effort to fulfil the goals and tasks facing the Union. The Council is made up of representatives of the Union’s regional branches, representatives of branch business associations, and other organizations and entrepreneurs. The ARUBA Council head is Oleg A. Kondrashov (President, Tsezar Corporation; VicePresident, Exclusive Goods Distributers Association). Organizing committees have been formed in a number of regions of Russia to assist in establishing ARUBA’s regional branches. Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (Employers) - RUIE(E) - is, in keeping with its Charter, an All Russia public organization of physical and juridical persons, public associations of industrialists and entrepreneurs (employers). Its goal as laid down by the Charter is to consolidate the efforts and coordinate the activities of its members, “aimed at implementing a socially oriented economic reform, assisting industrial and scientific-technical policies, and promoting honest entrepreneurship.” The RUIE(E) was formed on December 19, 1991, and re-registered by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on May 13, 1999. Its founders are enterprises of different forms of ownership, scientific research organizations, authoritative commercial structures, public associations, and physical persons. In 1992, the RUIE became a co-founder of the International Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, which has as its members national associations of industrialists and entrepreneurs from 24 countries. The Union has signed cooperation agreements with more than 40 similar organizations a broad, including the French Patronat, the Italian Confindustria, the Confederation of British Industry, and the General Confederation of German Industry. The RUIE(E) leadership structure is the following. The top leading body is the Congress, which elects President and the Board. Held in October 2000, the 11 th RUIE(E) Congress established Bureau of the Board, with practically all the leading representatives of the domestic business community as members. The 12 th Congress took place on June 21, 2001. The RUIE Congress is convened by the Board when necessary, but with no less frequency than once every two years, or at the request of not less than one-third of the Union members. The Congress is empowered to pass decisions on all aspects of the work done by the RUIE. It is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress to approve Charter, to alter or amend it, to adopt Statute of the Controlling Commission; to elect for the term of four years President of the Russian Union, the Board, and the Controlling Commission; to map out the main directions of
RUIE work; to consider reports by President, the Board, and the Controlling Commission; to consider and approve long-term operational programs and plans. Arkady Volsky has been President since the time the RUIE (E) came into being. The 11 th Congress elected him President for the next 4 years. He also heads the Bureau of the Board. As of today, the RUIE Board has 178 and the Bureau of the Board 27 members. Regional branches, affiliated organizations, missions, branch unions and organizations have guiding bodies of their own. The RUIE (E) comprises more than 5,000 members representing all regions of Russia and over 100 branch unions and corporate associations of the leading economic sectors. The 11th RUIE Congress elected to the new Board and the Controlling Commission heads of 41 associations, branch unions and public associations. These are, among others, the Association of Industrialists of the Mining and Metallurgical Complex of Russia, the International Union of Metallurgists, the Russian Chemists Union, the International Union of Machine-Builders, the League for Assistance to Defense Enterprises, the Union of Producers of Oil and Gas Equipment, the Russian Union of Entrepreneurs of the Textile and Light Industry, the Russian Union of Timber Industry and Timber Exporters, the Russian Union of Builders, the All Russia Association of Fishing Industry Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Exporters, the Russian Bakers Union, the Association of International Motor Carriers, the Russian Shipowners Union, the All Russia Union of Small and Medium Business Entrepreneurs, the Russia Association of Financial-Industrial Groups, the Russian Association of Leasing Companies, the Association “Social Sphere of Russia,” the Association of Russian Banks, the Investors Union, and many others. Some other RUIE members are heads of nearly 100 offices of foreign companies, including IBM, Dupont, FIAT, Olivetti, FATA, Thomson, Itochu, Hyundai, Siemens, Daewu, and others. According to the RUIE (E) statistics, enterprises and production structures of different forms of ownership as represented by direct and associate members of the RUIE account for more than 60 percent of Russia’s Gross Domestic Product. The 11th Congress gave the green light to the creation of the Inter-Regional Center for Information Technologies (IRIT) under the RUIE. The IRIT works to form a united information and analytical space, its aim being to invigorate cooperation between the RUIE members as well as their cooperation with the Union’s structural divisions. Its main goal is to cover the activities of the RUIE, its structures and divisions, regional branches, and Union members on the RUIE Internet site. In keeping with the RUIE(E) Charter, it can have both physical and juridical persons as its members, the former being heads of enterprises, entrepreneurs, public figures, scientists and others, the latter primarily various public associations. Following a decision by their own guiding bodies, enterprises and organizations may invest corresponding RUIE members with the right to represent their interests in the Russian Union. Acceptance to membership is on the basis of a written application and decisions by the authorized bodies of juridical persons and public associations. It is the Bureau of the RUIE Board that sanctions the acceptance.
The Union members pay entrance and annual membership fees. For individual RUIE members, the entrance fee is no less than 500 rubles and the annual fee is no less than 250 rubles. For foreign individual members, the entrance fee is no less than $1,000, and the annual fee no less than $500. For managers representing their organizations in the RUIE, the entrance fees are the following: big enterprises and commercial organizations (except banks) - 20,000 rubles; banks, concerns - no less than 60,000 rubles; small, medium enterprises (with a workforce not exceeding 500) and individual private enterprises - no less than 6,000 - 10,000 rubles; branch unions and corporate associations - no less than 10,000 rubles; scientific research organizations, universities - no less than 3,000 rubles. The annual membership fee is no less than 50 percent of the established entrance fee for each category of members. RUIE Administrative Staff Volsky Arkady Ivanovich, RUIE President; Yurgens Igor Yuryevich, RUIE Vice-President; Dombrovsky Viktor Mikhailovich, RUIE Vice-President; Nikulin Valery Afanasyevich, RUIE Vice-President; Nefyodov Boris Andreyevich, chief of staff to RUIE President; Kotelevskaya Irina Vasilyevna, head, Department for Ties with the Authorities; Belov Viktor Vasilyevich, head, Department for Law-Making and Target Programs; Perevezentsev Sergei Vladimirovich, head, Department for Ties with Public Organizations and Exhibitions; Ostarkov Nikolai Aleksandrovich, head, Department for Intercorporate Relations; Orlov Aleksandr Vladimirovich, head, Department for International Affairs; Borisov Nikolai Ivanovich, head, Department for Ties with the Regions, Branch Unions, and RUIE Members; Vinogradov Yury Aleksandrovich, RUIE Household Manager; Klimova Nina Kirillovna, chief accountant.
Bureau of the RUIE Board Bendukidze Kakha Avtandilovich, general director, OAO United Machine-Building Plants (Uralmash-Izhora Group); Vardanyan Ruben Karlenovich, president, Troika Dialogue Investment Company; Volsky Arkady Ivanovich, RUIE President; Deripaska Oleg Vladimirovich, general director, OAO Russian Aluminum; Dombrovsky Viktor Mikhailovich, RUIE Vice-President; Yevtushenkov Vladimir Petrovich, president, AFK Sistema; Yeremeyev Oleg Vitalyevich, general director, Coordinating Council, Russia Employers Union; Zimin Dmitry Borisovich, general director, OAO Vympel Communications; Kiselyov Oleg Vladimirovich, chairman, Board of Directors, Metalloinvest Controlling Holding Company; vice-president, OOO IMPEXBANK Import-Export Bank; Koveshnikov Vakhtang Pavlovich, chairman, Board of Directors, OAO Avangard; President, St. Petersburg Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (Employers); Kogan Vladimir Igorevich, chairman, Observation Council, OAO St. Petersburg Industrial nad Building Bank; Komissar Mikhail Vitalyevich, general director, Interfax Agency; Luzyanin Vladimir Ilyich, president, OAO Gidromash; president, Nizhni Novgorod Associa tion of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs; Makarov Nikolai Borisovich, chairman, Board of Directors, OAO Production Association UstIlimsk LPK, Irkutsk Region; general director, OOO Kontinentalinvest Group of Companies; Malgin Yevgeny Yevgenyevich, president, ZAO Sterkh-1; Mamut Aleksandr Leonidovich, chairman, Board of Directors, AKB Moscow Business World (AKB MDM); Mordashov Aleksei Aleksandrovich, general director, OAO Severstal, Cherepovets, Vologda Region; Nikulin Valery Afanasyevich, Vice-President, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (Employers); Potanin Vladimir Olegovich, president, ZAO Interros Holding Company; Pugachyov Sergei Viktorovich, chairman, Board of Directors, OOO International Industrial Bank;
Titov Boris Yuryevich, chairman, United Board, FPK Interkhimprom; Tokayev Yury Alimbekovich, chairman, Board of Directors, OAO MK Kraneks; President, Ivanovo Regional Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs; Fridman Mikhail Maratovich, chairman, Board of Directors, OAO Alfa-Bank; Khodorkovsky Mikhail Borisovich, chairman, Board, OAO YUKOS Oil Company; Chubais Anatoly Borisovich, chairman, Board, RAO UES of Russia; Shcherbakov Vladimir Ivanovich, president, ZAO International Fund for Investments and Privatization; Yurgens Igor Yuryevich, Vice-President, RUIE; president, All Russia Insurers Union. At its inception, the RUIE (E) declared the wish to “defend the interests of people connected with the production, heads of enterprises, entrepreneurs.” The Union declares as some of its tasks the following: supporting governmental efforts to overcome the economic crisis; shaping the position of Russia’s entrepreneurs on the current situation and working out measures, which will make it possible to overcome the difficulties of the present-day economic state of affairs; streamlining the production with the aim of enhancing its efficiency and potential, this along with retaining the professional skilled workforce, creating new jobs and employment opportunities; giving aid and support to the domestic commodity producer by way of restructuring the debt enterprises owe to regional and local budgets, relieving enterprises of unproductive expenses, reducing taxation, and other measures designed to increase production efficiency; shaping trade strategy and tactics, protecting the Russian market, creating levers influencing higher competitiveness of goods produced, their export and import; looking for ways of and forms for attracting capital, including foreign investments, to the real economic sector; reviving and building up the scientific-industrial potential on the high technology basis as the foundation and locomotive in the development of any social system. Address of the RUIE central office: 10/4 Staraya ploshchad, Moscow. SOURCE: Russia Today