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Certain Doing Business’ criteria to be used in regional investment standard, says minister

"Doing Business was good, but it only estimated two regions - Moscow and St. Petersburg. But we need to ensure economic growth everywhere, which is why we should extend those practices to all regions," Maksim Reshetnikov noted

MOSCOW, September 21. /TASS/. The Russian Economic Development Ministry may use a number of basic practices and criteria taken from the World Bank’s Doing Business annual reports in a regional investment standard in a move to extend them to all of Russia’s constituent entities, Minister Maksim Reshetnikov said in an interview aired by the Rossiya-24 TV news channel.

"Doing Business was good, but it only estimated two regions - Moscow and St. Petersburg. But we need to ensure economic growth everywhere, which is why we should extend those practices to all regions. And particularly the investment attractiveness rating developed by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives together with our ministry and other agencies, in addition to the results regularly announced at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, that is a very good practice that will definitely remain," he pledged.

The ministry is currently in the process of fine-tuning the investment standard for regions, Reshetnikov added. "We are currently continuing to cement all that together in our regional investment standard, developing additional requirements and training teams," he explained.

The World Bank reported on September 16 it had decided to discontinue its annual Doing Business reports following "data irregularities" revealed in several recent publications. General Director of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) Svetlana Chupsheva said on September 17 that the Doing Business rating allowed introducing a basic standard of starting business and investment projects in Russia, noting that "there had never been any questions to Russia from the viewpoint of data, representativeness, or the reforms being carried out in the country."

Russia climbed three notches in that rating to the 28th spot in 2019. Meanwhile, Executive Director at the Board of the World Bank Group representing the Russian Federation Roman Marshavin told TASS in October 2019 that Moscow’s ranking in the Doing Business rating was potentially higher than 28th, since the bank failed to consider all the reforms being carried out in the country. Russia suggested improving the method of calculation and the bank weighed those proposals.