The structure of the small business sector in Russia is changing gradually and becoming ever more high-tech-oriented, Vladimir Putin told TASS in the latest episode of a long-running interview series with the Russian President.
Putin stressed that in the 2000s nearly all of Russia’s small businesses were in retail trade, while in many other countries with advanced free-market economies these ventures play a major role in the manufacturing sector.
According to the Russian leader, the country’s authorities were capitalizing on this foreign experience to virtually “force” large companies, in particular, those co-owned by the state, to conclude contracts with small enterprises, and this mechanism was already in motion, with “trillions [of rubles] at stake.”
“The structure of small businesses has begun to change. Small businesses exist not only in retail trade – some kiosks or pavilions, but it’s also not only about buying low and selling high. Now there are research business ventures, too. And small businesses in manufacturing. High-tech small businesses,” he said, adding that such enterprises were rather effective and the export of Russian goods and services was growing.
“This is what makes me think we are moving in the right direction in principle, although progress is still, unfortunately, too slow,” Putin concluded.
The share of small and medium businesses in Russia’s GDP stands at about 22-23%, while procurement from such companies in 2019 stands at 3.7 trillion rubles against 1.5 trillion rubles in 2016. A National Project for supporting small and medium businesses and individual businesses is expected to build up the share of such companies in Russia’s GDP to 32.5%, while the total workforce employed in this sector will reach 25 million.