Thursday, January 23, 2014

Russia Hopes New Economic Package Will Stimulate Small, Medium Business Growth

In an effort to stimulate small and medium enterprises (SME) in manufacturing, services and research, a new government stimulus package includes a two-year tax holiday, and a five-year tax holiday for SMEs operating in the Russian Far East and Eastern Siberia.   Another major innovation to be implemented in 2014 is the establishment of the Federal Guarantee Fund, which is designed to make it easier for businesses to gain access to credit financing. Natalya Larionova, the head of the SME and competition department at the Economic Development Ministry, told RBTH that the fund will support new investment projects worth a minimum of 300 million rubles (about $9 million).  Foreign investors will also qualify for all the stimulus measures announced by the government, but only if they meet several conditions. Under Russian law, small companies set up by foreign citizens acting as individual entrepreneurs enjoy the same rights as Russian small and medium businesses.  If, however, the company was founded by a foreign legal entity or firm, it will have to seek a large Russian partner or several smaller partners (who control at least a 75% stake in the company) if it wants to be treated in the same way as any other Russian company.

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