Over the past year, the financial crisis has made it imperative for governments to review past practices, determine what has worked and what has not, and develop a new economic development agenda.
As a result, the Russian government stands ready to help businesses by fostering a climate that combats corruption and offers political and economic stability. Among our priorities: President Medvedev already is working on modernization of the judiciary and of law enforcement. We are going to do further work on protection of property rights. How can a company chart a long-term strategy when it can't be sure that its assets won't be commandeered? We also will develop more transparent policies for regional governments, more predictable tax and customs regimes, and encourage genuine competition among businesses.
Results are achievable, but that will take time. Within two to three years, we expect our modernization efforts to have borne fruit. We have the economic and political resources to make that a reality.
At the same time, businesses cannot and should not stand back and wait for the state to act - doing so would put them at risk of missing out on the vibrant and growing Russian market. This must be a partnership in which we achieve results together.