The Analytical Center has started preparing the 6th annual Report on the Development of Competition in the Country, which aims to reflect how business feels in the current economic and political conditions affecting business and investment activities.
The survey of business representatives about the state of the competitive environment will finish on February 18. Its findings will allow the experts to assess the effectiveness of the measures the state is implementing to support the Russian business and promote competition in the domestic markets of goods and services. The experts will then process the findings and have the report ready, as per tradition, by summer.
"The opinion of business representatives will allow us to determine the main factors that are holding back the development of fair competition. We will also be able to assess how fast these factors are changing and how effective the state has been at curbing them," says Elena Kovaleva, Head of the Department for Competition Policy of the Analytical Center. "It is important to note that we are going to use information about the real situation on the ground to develop proposals for how to reduce unfair competition and eliminate factors that are having a negative impact on the state of the competitive environment in the Russian markets."
The analysts believe that entrepreneurs are the most useful tool for assessing the state of business. "If you look at the results we have for the past 5 years, you can see the change in the attitude of entrepreneurs towards the state support measures aimed at promoting competition," Ms. Kovaleva said. "While in 2015, 31% of the respondents noted the need for public authorities to participate in their activities, by 2018 the share of such entrepreneurs fell to 20%."
The 2018 study showed that the greatest interest in state participation is found in the textile industry (55% of the respondents), construction materials manufacturing (43%) and metal production (33%). "Meanwhile, if we look, for example, at metal production, the general interest in state participation in that industry has declined since 2016 but the share of those who say they have really felt the state's help has rose up from 3% to 13%," Ms. Kovaleva pointed out.
According to the expert, it is important that the study not only allows the experts to analyze the situation in the market but also enables them to offer effective measures to improve the situation. "Our survey helps identify obstacles that entrepreneurs run into and that allows us to focus our efforts on sorting out key issues," Ms. Kovaleva stressed. "As a result, we can see positive change with regards to access to financial resources (including the high cost of borrowed funds). While in 2016, 56% of our respondents had difficulty getting loans by 2018, their share had gone down to 49%. In the meantime, we have seen an increase in the weight of another obstacle, high taxes (56% complained about them in 2018, while only 46% saw high taxes as a problem in 2016) and that means that more attention has to be paid to this problem."
The questionnaire has 24 questions. The experts expect to get some 1,300 filled out questionnaires from the entrepreneurs all over the country. Responses come from practically every region, especially active are Moscow and Moscow Region, Tumen and Sverdlovsk Regions, the Krasnodar Territory and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area - Yurga, the experts note.