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Advisory Council On Foreign Investment To Be Held Three Times Per Year

Foreign companies are hoping that the new policy will help their business plans.

At an advisory council on foreign investment, investors complained to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin about Russia’s extreme bureaucracy, tariffs, and lack of infrastructure. James Turley, the Executive Director of Ernst & Young Global, told the story of how one foreign company managed to build and start up two factories in other countries during the time that it took to simply receive permission to build a factory in Russia.

Putin called the complaints “completely legitimate.” The government will lower administrative barriers in two ways. First, by introducing a procedure for registering business activities by submitting a declaration to the government. Second, part of the process for declaring entry to business activities will be transferred to self-regulating organizations (SRO), he explained.

The government is planning to shorten the time period for foreign enterprises to receive permission on investment projects, according to a representative from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. It is possible that either contractors or government agencies will take on this task, he added. The simplified procedure may be applied in the construction, trade, or consumer services sectors, explained Economic Minister Elvira Nabiullina. According to Putin, the SROs themselves are not enough; they have little power and aren’t ready to assume such a high level of responsibility.

The advisory council decided to broaden the format of consultation with the Russian government and to create a joint-executive committee. The committee will meet at least three times per year and not just once, as it has been doing. A council member lamented that the bureaucracy in Russia is so prevalent that only an appeal to a high-level authority can resolve such problems.

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