Communique on the 15th Session of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council

(Moscow, October 29, 2001)

The 15th Session of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council in Russia was held in the President Hotel, Moscow, on October 29, 2001.

The Session was addressed by Mikhail M. Kasyanov, Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation.

In his address, Mr. Kasyanov described the Russian Government's Program for ensuring sustained economic growth and creating favorable conditions for business activity.

The participants in the Session praised highly the Government's efforts to maintain macroeconomic stability, to reduce the tax and administrative burden, to liberalize foreign currency transactions, to develop the financial market, and to improve corporate governance.

The participants believe that the adoption of the Land Code is poised to have a positive impact on the investment climate and speed up the pace of Russian economic reform.

The participants perceived the development of a draft Strategy of Developing the Banking Sector in the Russian Federation, which was largely approved by the Russian Government on September 27, 2001, as a positive step towards reforming the banking sector and increasing its role in investment processes.

In the area of tax legislation, the participants welcomed the positive changes introduced by Chapter 25 of Part Two of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation, as well as the amendments introduced into Federal Law "Concerning Production Sharing Agreements", and certain other regulations.

The adoption of Federal Law "Concerning the Introduction of Amendments and Additions into Federal Law "Concerning the Insolvency (Bankruptcy) of Credit Organizations"" was assessed positively. As regards the activity of professional participants in the securities market and the promotion of property rights, support was given to the development of a draft Corporate Governance Code and the drafting of amendments to Federal Law "Concerning the Securities Market".

The steps taken with regard to the state regulation of the economy were assessed positively. 2001 saw the adoption of Federal Laws "Concerning the State Registration of Legal Entities", "Concerning the Licensing of Certain Types of Activity", "Concerning the Protection of the Rights of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs with Regard to State Control (Supervision)", as well as the drafting of a number of laws and regulations establishing a unified procedure for the registration of legal entities, simplified application procedures, and regulations on the exercising of control over business activity by state agencies.

Foreign investors reaffirmed their readiness to provide tangible assistance to Russian authorities in developing further steps designed to curb red-tape in the economy, including the reform of standardization and certification procedures, and the simplification of state registration procedures for certain types of goods.