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Poll Shows Improvement in Business Climate in 2012

Foreign companies operating in Russia said the country's business climate had improved in 2012, according to a study released by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and Fleishman-Hillard Vanguard, a subsidiary of U.S. public relations agency Fleishman-Hillard.

Compared with 2011, 44 percent of the respondents noted an improvement, with 34 percent saying it was a minor one, while 48 percent said no changes had taken place, and 8 percent said the business climate had deteriorated.

As many as 50 percent of the respondents said red tape was a major obstacle for business, while 42 percent named corruption, and 37 percent noted underdeveloped infrastructure.  

Of those polled, 52 percent said tax incentives would be a key stimulus for economic development, while 48 percent said transparent decision making by government agencies was a priority, and 40 percent said they would like the government to end overregulation.

According to the study, 49 percent said they had faced problems with the Federal Customs Service, up from 33 percent in 2011, while 41 percent had had problems with licensing authorities, up from 31 percent, and 34 percent were unhappy with the Federal Consumer Protection Service, up from 20 percent. Meanwhile, 36 percent of the respondents had experienced problems with tax authorities, down from 51 percent in 2011, and 20 percent said there had been obstacles connected with the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, down from 49 percent.

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