On December 2-3, Kaluga hosted a conference entitled “Foreign Economic Activities as a Factor for Efficient Development of Russian Federation Subjects”.
The core issue of the meeting between governmental officials and entrepreneurs was the support of foreign economic (export) activities of small and medium enterprises.
As noted by Kaluga Region’s Governor Anatoly Artamonov, there are 12,650 small and medium businesses in the region, and more than 32,000 individual entrepreneurs. The turnover of small and medium enterprises in 2013 is estimated at RUR 198.09 billion. Referring to trade and economic relations with foreign partners, the head of the region emphasized that in the first 9 months of the current year the volume of foreign trade increased by 35%.
“Naturally, we provide support to export oriented small and medium businesses, including innovation enterprises. From 2005, the Government of Kaluga Region and the RF Ministry of Economic Development have been implementing a joint special project to support innovation businesses: financial resources are allocated for certification of their products, their participation in international exhibitions, business missions, etc.”, he added.
Alan Thompson, Director in Russia of the Russian-British Chamber of Commerce, remarked that Russian small and medium businesses account for 20% of all jobs. In other countries, the figure is 45%. “In this sense, Russia has large potential”, he resumed.
During the first part of the conference, METRO and the Russian Agency for Small and Medium Business Support signed an agreement to promote the expansion of METRO’s collaboration with Russian suppliers.
The results of the conference will be summarized in recommendations on improvement of competitive performance of small and medium businesses, development of efficient support instruments and creation of a favorable environment for successful operation of small and medium enterprises on interregional and international markets with consideration of WTO membership.